Miró’s Notebook

By Rick Barot b. 1969 Rick Barot
I.
 
Dusk, thus:
a shirt drops,
 
the bellybutton rune
showing.
 
Clouds are soaked,
the sea now
 
iron, muscle-heavy.
The pond begins
 
reflecting on astronomy.
The fruit wait.
 
The furniture
call back their atoms.
 
The tree asks for
its leaves.
 
 
II.
 
Winter brought into the room
is the whisk of holly.
 
The purse is a hare limp
on the table, its eye
gone amber.
 
The birdcage is the work
I am after: bold-barred,
so no bird leaves.
 
The celadon throat, the iceberg
teeth, the matted grass
of an armpit . . .
 
A pear, or maybe a stone,
the chilled shoulder shifts under
cover, not persuaded
into similitude.
 
 
III.
 
In the snail-tracked sky,
the mineral grains, a dozen eyes.
 
You tell me thread
is for seam and hem, not the mica
bead-stitched on the dark.
 
You refuse to have the shards
the broom gathered
be the moon, seen as aftermath.
 
But like the thimble, I have no guile.
 
So let your window
open to the rain coming down,
drumming on the hidden shells.
 
 
IV.
 
Black cherries.
Glass of milk on a tablecloth.
An arm of bread.
 
The coins.
Green scarab beetle.
The compact’s sleeping mirror.
 
The fig branch.
The sundial.
The harlequin leaves.
 
 
V.
 
Votive-light evening,
cipher ridden.
 
The marsh air, and my finger
in places.
 
Among the lesser constellations,
the fractured
 
kite, the anemone.
The geese thread-pulled
 
into the hard sleep.
The clothespin, the gold
 
in your hair.
The seeds spread
 
are a flung field.
I sleep on stone, you on moss.
 
 
VI.
 
The red-haired figure
in the station, the man selling
carnations. The scarecrow
 
landscape, the suitcases
getting heavier with every stop.
Those served as props.
 
I dreamed we each played a part.
 
One of us was given to say:
I wanted your distance whispered down
small enough for this room.
 
And one to say:
I saw you always just a little
out of reach, with white hair.
 
 
VII.
 
A fish-scale moon:
who doesn’t want

to be left used
windsock-hollow?
 
Now for morning:
the lit wick
 
of each grass-blade,
the saplings
 
like legs of deer,
the four walls
 
verifying the house,
and the slip
 
of last night’s chive
in your teeth.

Rick Barot, “Miró’s Notebook” from The Darker Fall. Copyright © 2002 by Rick Barot. Reprinted by permission of Sarabande Books, Inc.

Source: The Darker Fall (Sarabande Books, 2002)

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Poet Rick Barot b. 1969

POET’S REGION U.S., Northwestern

Subjects Living, The Body, Relationships, Nature, Trees & Flowers

Poetic Terms Free Verse, Metaphor

 Rick  Barot

Biography

Rick Barot was born in the Philippines and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. He attended Wesleyan University, the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and Stanford University, where he was a Stegner Fellow in Poetry and later a Jones Lecturer in Poetry.
 
Barot’s first collection of poetry, The Darker Fall (2002), received the Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry. His second collection, Want (2008), was a finalist for the Lambda Literary . . .

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SUBJECT Living, The Body, Relationships, Nature, Trees & Flowers

POET’S REGION U.S., Northwestern

Poetic Terms Free Verse, Metaphor

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