Drawing for Absolute Beginners
Take any desired height, or place points for
top of head and heels. Divide into eights. . . .
filling up with light. Later, drained to a blue-gray, the color of
7. Thus, we see that commodification is a function of local necessity.
a. As Angelenos collect percolating shade in shallow pans, to
leach the arsenic out of the light.
b. “And then I buried it.”
“Where, exactly? And when?”
“In the chest. Insertion point at the base of the throat. You
were still asleep.”
“But what is it, exactly? I mean, I can’t figure out its precise
extent. I mean, I can feel it there sometimes, like stitches, or
sometimes like a flanged or branching bone.”
6. Cross-hatchings of street noise and the Minotaur with his boy’s
body. Narrowing. Rib cage the verge of a canoe. Armpit a whiff of
5. “If you want to fuck me with that bottle, Mr. Arbuckle, best take
the foil off first.”
a. The act of kissing. A kiss.
b. Math. A point where two branches of a curve have a common
tangent and extend in both directions of the tangent.
c. To the ankles. Or to the knees. Or just unzipped enough.
3. Charmeuse chemise. A shuddering fall. Miss Adelaide Hall on
the chaise longue singing I ain’t much caring / Just where I will
end. Then jerked upright, skirt hiked to the knee, that bridge
stretching out under every skip-step. Slaphappy scat-puppet of
the fixed smile, the meanwhile, Ain’t got nobody to love now.
2. The bone begging bowl. The foot that pushed it away.
1. “I want to leave you exactly as I found you.”
Monica Youn, “Drawing for Absolute Beginners” from Barter. Copyright © 2003 by Monica Youn. Reprinted by permission of Graywolf Press, www.graywolfpress.org
Source: Barter (Graywolf Press, 2003)
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Poet Monica Youn
POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic