Ann Arbor Review


Alan Britt
Shutta Crum
Jumoke Verissimo
Las Slomovits
Richard Kurtz
Lyn Lifshin
Duane Locke
Serena Wilcox
Jerry Blanton
Dami Ajayi
Odimegwu Onwumere
Joanie Freeman
Dike Okoro
Amit Parmessur
Paul B. Roth
Divya Rajan
Kim Keith
Fred Wolven
C. Derick Vann
Al Ortolani
Steve Barfield
Jim Davis
Chris Lord
Jennifer Burd
Will Swanson
Isabel Kestner

Lisa Schmidt
Running Cub
Tolu Ogunlesi


"A man with sealed lips, I cannot complain about him."
Paul Gauguin

I made you the king of untouchables.
You rest on a throne, you're an icon.
History is a dice.  It matters which side
your eyes are glued to.  And sides cascade

as tides on moonless nights.
Your limpid ear squirmed, a beating heart
on my stolid palm.  But that's story
for another time.

I didn't care much for digital strakes,
the kind that bore no crutches,
no pathways to decipher language, its art.
Where's the clarity of emotions, affirmations
that bleed?  I want to see colors
with a conscience.  Show me the anomalies!
And life, as it exists.  Shriveled leaves

clinging onto sturdy branches, rotund bellies,
castles reeking of drools, children basking on
shoreless, copper streets, nibbling candies
made of textured sand.
It's their dialect that appeals.

You called yourself an impasto expert.
You were a true exhibitionist.  Your tempers
ironed onto creases of your unwashed shirt.
Your colors were so open-mouthed,

even Baudelaire'd have shied away!
They hardly spoke, an army of pin-headed aficianados'd

rush to crucify if I ever said that loud.
You dreamt of a colony in the south of France.
I believed in the crescendo of Arles.  The soul
shifted like a lost gondola and the music
was strained clear of placidity.
You were born a lunatic, and
I thank you for that.  Still.

Divya Rajan, Chicago

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