Guest Poet Josie V. Miranda Cartagena

museum piece 

the illusion of a woman's form-- 
distant, apparitional-- 
hovers from behind Plexiglas 
interpretations and critiques 
of "art for art's sake." 

staring from behind 
a red velvet rope 
my vision strains under 
relentless lighting as 
I try to focus 
the diffuse wash 
of mixed pigment. 

slightly unnerved though 
I am by my 
obsessive study 
of watercolor-suggested 
bone, muscle and viscera 

I admit to a surreal fascination with 
abstract representations 
of body and possession. 

I find that realism 
requires me to suspend 
my inquiries 
into condition and experience, 
and strips the canvas of the 
allegorical beauty of a 
spiritual masterpiece. 

I am not an artist; 
I do not paint.  I am one 
compelled by a need 
to look beyond, and so rely 
on the brush strokes of 
a seer
to provide a glimpse of
human understanding.

August, 2000

Josie V. Miranda Cartagena 's Questions:

(In my poetry I like to play with words, stretch meanings, and I try to keep a steady rhythm going throughout the piece.)

My questions are:

1.  What do you think I'm trying to "say" in the piece (does the poem make sense)?

2.  Does the language work (do specific words or terms seem to not belong or say what you think I'm trying to say)?

3.  Is it too self-conscious or "hokey" (is it embarrassing to read)?

Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

  Thank you for being online!

The Albany Poetry Workshop