young woman views Chagall
at Blue Lovers, she is appalled in a bright room, that storm colour bruises her cotton suit the shade of sloe
pictured: a face of static lips nibbed, eyes closed motherit is not, in fact, paint’s pressure filling, but the nimbus in her own chest a wilderness, made numb it is I
centre right: a muted harlequin with stiffened ruff, the mask a blot of dusk whom you clothed
the young woman touches her cheek mimicking the gloved mime who cups that of a widow
her mother’s fascinator is neat leaves, nature hemmed indelible as hedgerow so I cannot speak
as though, in blackthorn a spider wove her sack to an iron pin the young never found the world these are my gauzed hands
the room bright, her suit hoards shadows tissue in a blue well
by Gram Joel Davies
‘young woman views Chagall’ is copyright © Gram Joel Davies, 2017. It is reprinted from Bolt Down This Earth (V. Press, 2017) by permission of V. Press.
You can view Chagall’s 1914 painting Blue Lovers, from which this poem draws inspiration, here.
Notes from V. Press:
Gram Joel Davies grew up in Somerset in the ’80s, overlooking the valley town of Taunton, the Quantock Hills and the edge of Sedgemoor. His writing has appeared in magazines such as Magma, The Moth, Envoi and Lighthouse, and has received listings and commendations from Penelope Shuttle, Peter Oswald, Liz Berry and Carol Ann Duffy. In 2014, he and Hannah Linden won the Cheltenham Poetry Festival Compound collaboration competition. Working with Juncture 25 poets, he attends readings and festivals across the Southwest. Bolt Down This Earth (V. Press) is his first collection. You can read more about it on the V. Press website, and more about Gram’s work on his website. He is also on Twitter.
V. Press publishes poetry and flash fiction that is very very, with emphasis on quality over any particular style. Established with a launch at Ledbury Poetry Festival 2013 and shortlisted in The Michael Marks Publishers’ Award 2017, V. Press poetry knows what it wants to do and does it well. Find out more on the press’s website.
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