a poetry e-zine










Poems By A.J. Odasso
For Her Art

Pale girl, willow-slim, sits on a plinth
in the square—sketches the spire opposite, caught

by the rain unaware. And ever since,
I wonder at her face gone still, upturned

to the clouds and the strain, her eyes closed
in serene defiance. In her stead,

I could hardly have done the same, and yet
I yearn to turn back to the time, the place

of this simple belonging. Then, I'd leave
my seat at the table, my hard-won meal

half eaten, fly to her side in the storm,
to ask how she is doing and where I

have gone wrong. Her dress red, her hair golden—
soaked, wind-whipped, and long.

Nocturne at Vence
After Chagall

Blinded by blue as they flip
the gilt frame: there's no time

to even admit that the sight
undoes me, brilliant flutter

of cockatrice wings at sunset.
And I will always remember

that I loved you first,
little starling, tiny horse

bearing mother and child:
you are my beginning.

Ruth at the Feet of Boaz
After Chagall

Fitful with sleep, the man stumbles drunk

into his reedy bed of hasty making. And the girl,
silently creeping, holds for a moment stalk-still

in the stars' meager light. Shadows have shrunk

from them into the dawning, two pale hands
and breasts unfolding. The man will wake soon

to a wash of white flesh and the fallow shell

of the moon.

Lovers' Crescent
After Chagall

They say she gazed at the sun so wistful long
before the wedding, as if in facing its fire

she'd sear and sink into the dust. No clear song
to mark her leaving, no pomp and circumstance

played to bless this union. The road requires
only her slow treading, as if in deep water,

and the press of her small feet, one after
another, after the bridegroom unfurling

before her and into the distance.

A.J. Odasso is currently completing her Ph.D. in English at the University of York (UK). Her poetry has appeared in a number of publications on both sides of the Atlantic, including Strong Verse, Aesthetica, Sybil's Garage, Succour, Farrago's Wainscot, The Liberal, Under the Radar, Mythic Delirium, and Ouroboros Review - with new work forthcoming in Illumen, Not One of Us, and others. Her short fiction has appeared in anthologies from Hadley Rille Books and Drollerie Press. Her first print chapbook, Devil's Road Down, will be published by Maverick Duck Press in late 2009, and her first book-length collection, Lost Books, will be published by Flipped Eye Press in 2010.

Copyright 2009  Chantarelle's Notebook