Switched-on Gutenberg Issue 16
The poet sees the collage artist work with words, and thinks of Shakespeare.
... for Mar Goman
Here’s what the artist has done: cut two little
dresses from paper (they’re twinned), stitched
onto paper those little twin shapes suggesting
dresses (we see them as dresses): the artist has
sewed a match with a red head on each dress.
Two matches stitched onto two dresses
each with red thread: dresses and matches
are brown: both are paperbag brown.
Those dresses-with-matches are sewn
onto paper that’s covered with words torn
jagged: glue’s been brushed over the batches
of words, scraps from an outdated dictionary:
some are senseless, some are nonsense
some make sense, make art: poetry/theater
a play – the twin dresses are costumes.
     Behind the twin dresses: fragments
     bitter birthmark blemish birthplace
     And: botcher a clumsy a mender of old
     botchery red in a clumsy of human

     Then this: act born the in the of
     And this: diocese, that church
     of the possessing – cathedra
     head church, silver katheter
     tubular, urethra taking off urine

From the human use of deity (house of deity
where silver-tubed chieftains keep God
stashed away), words keeping God like a hostage
move from possession to excretion: waste.
God said: the expense of spirit in a waste
of shame is lust in action (and) all this
the world well knows. The world, knowing
well his twins, matches, word games
his words words words, will surely ask:
if we burn the red-headed matches
what then will be born the in the of?

Copyright 2010,  Judith Arcana

Judith Arcana’s poems, stories & essays appear in many journals and anthologies. Her books include the recent poetry chapbook "4th Period English" and "Grace Paley’s Life Stories, A Literary Biography". Visit her website: www.juditharcana.com.

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