Ailish Hopper

 

LOVE OF THE ABSTRACT

Better to stay close

to the system.
To love patterns

over particulars.
Electric

spectrum of tints and hues,
still in

their tubes of paint.

 

CONCEPTUAL ARTIST

Like some conceptual artist,
he speaks in repeated words
or phrases

that are, only occasionally, interpreted
as were meant.

He will say to me:

garbage,
garbage,
garbage,

his eyebrows raised in alarm.

And I will empty the trash in the kitchen,
haul the bag to the curb,

his face still foregathered:
No connection

made, no impact, my

uncomprehending review.

 

 



Martha Tabor
Jacob's Ladder III

(sculpture) curly willow,
32" x 80" x 6", (1995)
see more of Martha Tabor's work

 

 

 

 

LETTER: GUILT TRIP

"on Saturday JANUARY 11UP FOR BREAKFAST......................9
1;30......sam,s CLUB......3 : 30 1/14......CENTRAL

FIDELITY

CHECKING TWO E WEEKS JANUARY 25 wife drove to KROGER FOR
SHOPPING, BY MISTAKE

ON YOUR CALENDER AND MINE
FEBRUARY......AFTER JANUARY,
the folll......FOLLING WEEK......FEB 4 5

AILISH........VISIT
FRO M"

 

FEELING FOR MY AUDIENCE

Telephones are meant
for people who can speak, so my father answers his

with listening. When I call I say
Dad?
like an actor on a stage,
feeling for my audience
somewhere in the darkness.

The faceless,
and hungry, who have lingered
for me

long after the curtain's fall.


HIRUNDO

Taped to the wall
are nine pictures

of birds, cut out
of an Audubon guide.

And so he builds
his roost
from these found things;

in the lamplight near his bed
he hangs the curled vanilla page

of the Hirundo rustica:
Barn Swallow.

Beneath its melting gaze, its wings and tail
lengthen

like tears of steel blue ink.

 

TO DIFFICULTY

I turned a page

and there you lay. A word
in a language

that no one says.

Applied
by a generous brush,
and dipped in the richest of inks

by a hand, relenting,
that had spread

you across

this brilliant field.

In colors of night,
in shapes

like breath,

You taught:
..........................Darkness

is not lack
of light.

Ailish Hopper is a DC native, educated at Princeton University and Bennington College, where she received an MFA and was the 1998 Jane Kenyon Scholar. Her poems have appeared in several journals, including Poetry, Many Mountains Moving, and a special issue of Poetry Kanto on Emerging American Poets.

Published in Volume 4, Number 2, Spring 2003.