Matthew Thorburn



gray-green this window
eats you you said
the human surface was
surf stripey folded umbrellas
call them regrets orange
the sky so busy
canary-colored disarray
chancey bicyclish
wristy not triangular
no not missteps this
cappuccinoy water
what's frangible what's
that line not true not true
but memorable and gray
or blue all the way
to the water a screen
a scrim whitewashed
dried out white
on silver on white every
blue no everybody
likes a crooked
line enough dark
ocean we could start
with this passing shadow
reflected in the grand
black piano your childhood
your childhood sky



I wrote the first draft of this poem in bed one night in early August, 2004, on the down-swing of a year spent writing a poem a day. This project led me to try all sorts of chance methods in my struggle to Houdini my way out of each day's blank page. That night I used a digital voice recorder to improvise a first draft around a handful of words that caught my eye as I flipped through Sharon Dolin's Serious Pink. Like the poems in that book, mine has to do with a painting, though in this case the painting's imaginary.