Ann Arbor Review


Shutta Crum
Paul B. Roth
Laszlo Slomovits
Duane Locke
Felino Soriano
Chris Lord
Jerry Blanton
Carmen Firan
Amelia Makinano
Connie Stadler
Fred Wolven
Duane Locke
Tolu Ogunlesi
Running Cub
Joanie Freeman
Gerald Clark
Karyn M. Wolven
Holly Day
Dike Okoro
Fred Wolven

           for the poet, Angel Nafis

She writes on an unhinged purple sky,
           papers a sunspot where a prayer once hung.
           Rain prisms her into a spectrum of colors,
           her words both naked and dressed in blood,
           say woman and capture and charcoal-blue fist,
           her hair a black exploding star.

I write in rows of plowed purple earth,
           free beatnik crawlers and feminine ends.
           Rain washes my lined body of no color,
           my words both prey and grey herons,
           say water and balance and art deco bird,
           my hair a slate-colored nest.

She and I, showy and spiny, alive in our art,
           bound with different covers,
           paperback versions and chapters apart,
           we could be a compound word,
           or a slant rhyme that is true,
           a flower opening, a downy ruse.

Say blue-black iris.  Say milkweed misfit.
           Watch us rise through sidewalk cracks,
           purple our petals with graffiti's swash.
           Our letters the feet and beaks of birds,
           we feed each other captured verbs,
           ride ink-tipped wings into a poem.

             Poem in five striations inspired by Celestial Musings,
             linocut by Dorothea Krieg

You dip your brush in dark jeweled water,
Mix the orange of a swan's bill with pond dust.

Paint the hush sliding from the moth onto a peach,
Dab rain-sweetened flesh onto sculpted stones.

Cover a fisherman's split weight with seaweed,
Trawl afternoon for the long thin shape of pike.

Wash your canvas under the canopy of twilight,
Spoon feed us a taste of the moon's first rising.

Blend night fears with a mustang's thick black mane,
Ride a faint star bareback, bolt before oncoming light.

We are the arts, words without masks,
musicians tuning moon strings, voices
dipping our tales in abstraction's well,
painters using boar bristles, sculptors
of oval entrances, balancers of beams,
working alone in a dark of our own,
filling the spaces between with light.


Chris Lord, Ann Arbor



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