Michael Burkard

Cherry Eye

when elizabeth bishop painted

INTERIOR WITH EXTENSION CORD

 she must have realized in some untoward

unconscious fashion or semiconsciousness

that i who finally came to read her poems with

excitement when i finally read them as a sister

writer instead of a member of some intelligentsia

if that is the word for it—when i finally read them

then a few days later was not in any way heading

to maryland for my second sober anniversary without

her white covered sunburst book of collected poems

on my lap under my arm in my hands under my awkward

pen as it wrote exictedly some lines besides hers or in

the margins or the white spaces of the page=dreams

—she must have realized that years later a reader/fan/

writer in his/her own rite would look to enter this

interior from the suggested door from the mountain

heaping flower side door to look up once in the interior

to see the extension cord form that vantage point as

a spider web of sorts not that she painted it at all that way

but it looks like the beginning of something alligned

partly with the wall-meets-ceiling line and the slight

"hooks": visible holding it in place to wall and ceiling

looks like a day to start something or keep starting something

not to end something like a writer’s life even when he/she

feels the invited or uninvited call of the so called end

Michael Burkard

 Michael  BurkardMichael Burkard teaches in the MFA Creative Writing Program at Syracuse University.  Among his books are My Secret Boat (W.W. Norton), Unsleeping (Sarabande Books), and Pennsylvania Collection Agency (New Issue Press).  His poems appear in recent issues of Bat City Review, Parakeet, and 88.
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