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Jacket 19 — October 2002   |   # 19  Contents   |   Homepage   |  Catalog   |
This issue of Jacket is a collaboration with Verse magazine

Cole Swensen

Two poems

The Hand, Painted in

Is said is unhinged     can drift off from                    is not constrained to
the physical hand        tends to bleed. You look at it and faint. Etc. etc. while the great
painters can aloft each cell where the living shifts into difference
                                   while we, the living devise new methods:
You grind down a lightbulb and paint in the hands. This, said the Renaissance, will,
in that required posture, cause
the hands to detach at the wrist and arisen. The hand is yet one
more instance of the incantation of the awkward god of uneven number, of
all knuckle,
El Greco,
            mon Elba, and all the
in between that glows in the dark. (arc-
en-ciel, or carved boat, or matching boats like the blue hands that saints often wear.

The Hands Testify

As if the sun had hit

the glazing

as if

there are days it all goes right

for instance:
There’s a greenhouse just out of sight.
All I can see is a greenhouse, the glass in the sun, the green
is somewhere else. The hand arches over
the head of the child and floats down. The hand is planned
as a perfect inversion of the head. Child and mine, a building of eyes. You can see
through the hand or think you can
to the flower of the brain, but it’s the hand
that’s blooming, and the child is incidental, or at least not central to the scene.

Jacket 19 — October 2002  Contents page
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