San Diego and Matisse

By Clarence Major b. 1936 Clarence Major
1. INSIDE FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF A TREE

Beautiful women in smoky blue culottes
lying around on fluffy pink pillows
beneath windows onto charming views,
sea views, seasonal leaves and trees.
Inside is outside and outside inside.
Smell of saltwater swimming in the room.


2. OUTSIDE FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF A ROCKING CHAIR

Shadow of lighthouse along the beach.
Whales spotted every day lately
though winter’s two months yet.
The evening is as warm as an interior.
Silverlight lagoonlight, snorkeling light.
And a line of joggers against last light.
Blue smoke snaking up the pink sky.

Clarence Major, "San Diego and Matisse" from Waiting for Sweet Betty. Copyright © 2002 by Clarence Major. Reprinted with the permission of Copper Canyon Press, P.O. Box 271, Port Townshend, WA 98368-0271, coppercanyonpress.org.

Source: Waiting for Sweet Betty (Copper Canyon Press, 2002)

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Poet Clarence Major b. 1936

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Subjects Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals

 Clarence  Major

Biography

American writer Clarence Major "has been in the forefront of experimental poetry and prose," Eugene B. Redmond writes in Parnassus. "In prose he fits 'loosely' into a category with William Melvin Kelley and Ishmael Reed. But his influences and antecedents are not so easy to identify." Perhaps best known for his novels, Major draws on his experience as a Southern African-American to "[defy] the white-imposed 'traditions' of black . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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