Two Poems by Rebecca Wolff
This week in the PEN Poetry Series, PEN America features two poems by Rebecca Wolff.
because I can
I front because
I care: the secret to fronting
you must never stop
to think gleaming
the saucy daughter
of the devil, fra diavolo
I’m not using metaphor:
I can’t get over how much I love
this product design,
and the conceit of the product
(which is delicious, btw):
superfruits, from different continents.
That impulse to make things look pretty
and sell more
in the agrarian landscape
divisions of labor—friendly old hippies
unfriendly young hippies—I feed six people
and then I stop.
That soup sells
and this soup obviously doesn’t sell as much.
And I trust people
to make good choices
so I don’t have to impale them
on the tines of my pitchfork. Or otherwise
govern them. Why do you need so much
government, if you don’t like government why
do you insist upon making
these bad choices.
Use Objects: Boise Art Museum 2009
I just want to touch everything
hanging from the walls and the ceiling
I’ve never felt this way before—Ruth Duckworth—is she
really still living?
The card says so. What do I want to look at
a bunch of quilts hanging on the wall for? I am almost done
with this guileless pose
exhaust one’s self in several poses
currently standing and looking
my ass off
at doll quilts 1863
in a glass box
just the general tenor of life
the fabrics, candlelight, eyes
shut at sundown
The “sunshine and shadow pattern”
made with tiny stitches a whole lot of sense
that human intelligence—
now so dulled—
could have flamed
so bright as to stitch this square
with a ladies’ fan
with a velvet boot
this a tilted teacup.
And then I went to see Bright Star
and wept more in the dark for that recaptured
peering at poems,
by candlelight, when night
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