Were this the seventeenth century,
Antwerp or Haarlem, this would be
a painting, this table, earthenware
cup and silver strainer,
black-handled knife, pewter plate, this
tangerine. A wedge of light
from a windowless edge would slice
the chestnut wood, closing around
each object like calyxes of flowers
in a vase removed from this table.
In fact, it was a warm day
in December late
in the twentieth century, a day
I stood in a market looking
at tangerines that called up tile roofs
and cobble streets in any Flemish town.
And Florida or California
had been warmer still the day
a brown-skinned Mexican girl picked
this tangerine that I had picked out
and carried back to lie on this plate,
which could be pewter, next to this
knife, which could be black-handled,
and so on.
The orange of it is perfect
orange collapsed into a scar
that tattles of generality.
On this plate or in this painting
this tangerine is absolutely
what it is, select
as though it were meant to be.
And as the light
through the window shifts to reflect
the coming snow, a nimbus
of tangerine illuminates the table,
cup, strainer, knife and plate, selected
for still life by an Old Master.
Previous Readings | CLICK for most upcoming events
Joppa Flats Poetry Reading with David Davis and Ann McCrae
13 December 2017, 7:30 pm
A Celebration of Poetry: Seven Belmont Poets
4 May 2017, 7 pm
Belmont Public Library 336 Concord Ave., Belmont, MA 02478
Amherst Poetry Festival, 1-4 October 2015
Reading: 3 October 2016, 1-7 pm
James Tate Memorial Stage
Amherst, MA 01002
Loring-Greenough House, 12 South Street, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
Books and Bites
11 May 2015, 11 a.m.
(Rescheduled 9 February 2015 event due to weather)
Belmont Public Library, 336 Concord Ave., Belmont, MA 02478
23 July 2015, 7 p.m.
Bright Hill Press: 94 Church St; Treadwell, NY 13846
28 October 2014, 7 p.m.
85 East 4th Street, New York, NY 10003
19 October 2014, 3 p.m.
West Falmouth Library, 575 West Falmouth Highway, West Falmouth, MA 02578
20 September 2014, 3:45 p.m.
Fuller Craft Museum, 445 Oak Street, Brockton, MA 02301
21 July 2014, 8.p.m.
Margo Jones Theater at Fair Park, 1st Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75210
Massachusetts Poetry Festival
2-4 May 2014.
Poetry of the Body: WordTech Poets Read
Saturday, 3 May, 2:45-3:45
Universalist Church, 2nd Floor
211 Bridge Street, Salem, Massachusetts
Pete's Candy Store
8 April 2014, 7.30 p.m.
709 Lorimer Street, Brooklyn, NY
Porter Square Books
12 March 2014, 7 p.m.
25 White Street, Cambridge, MA 0214056
Mellow Pages Library
7 February 2014, 8 p.m.
56 Bogart Street, 1S; Brooklyn, NY
Cervena Barva Poetry Series
16 January 2014, 7 p.m.
Center for Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA 02143
Launch of Lamentation with June Bug
7 December 2013, 4-6 p.m.
Grolier Poetry Book Shop, 6 Plympton Street, Cambridge, MA 02138