I’ve got two new books, Barbara Crooker: Selected Poems and Small Rain. These two poems are from my new manuscript, Les Fauves, which is now circulating.
Landscape with Stars, (1905-08)
Short broken brush strokes,
cobalt / egg yolk / thinned-out
black, the starry night sky
in the south of France.
Here, in Virginia, far above
my head, little bits of butter
sizzle in night’s cold cast iron
skillet. The Milky Way’s
almost so close you could
walk on it, follow the stepping
stones, where everyone
you’ve ever loved is waiting.
But gravity has pinned you
to the dew-soaked grass. Up
above, the stars continue
to pulse, to dance. And look,
here are our old friends, Orion
and Cassiopeia. . . .
-first appeared in the San Pedro Poetry Review
Cap Négre (1909)
These short sharp brush strokes are exactly
the color of the pain radiating up
from my shredded ankle, ligaments shot
to hell and gone. Cap Nègre’s in Saint-Clair,
near Saint-Tropez, where Cross and Signac
developed Divisionism. My ankle’s divided
from the rest of my body, shooting out
sparks with every step. In Cross’s charcoal
and watercolor on cream laid paper, the trees
and promontory vibrate, every brush stroke
licked with light. While my ankle explodes
in all the colors of the trees: wince blue,
livid magenta, jaundice.
-first appeared in Kestrel
©2015 Barbara Crooker