Issue 1 – Winter 2001 – Sarah Riggs

Sarah Riggs

Bacon’s Van Gogh

Walking to deformation: nearly direction smears

Earth under the jag lane: through gape black

Crops of red: blurred psyches stroked in

Slung behind another: box recedes the painter

Tree bones or tanks: misshapen phallic gestures
                 leafless, to the left, to the left

Burnt brown candle stub of leg: shades the right peg aside

Volcanic solid half: limb and face one viscous dip

Flesh chars away closer: profile huge, entirely without eye

Blood, dung, ocher mixed to canvas: straw patches smother out

Frame, walking stick, rim of hat: yellow, mad, thin

Slurring tan: red blent white sludges out yeses
                  Arles pastels

The azure stripped: demarcates scorched under

Flesh pink all over the road: melts to ward in


Exterior with Woman Hanging Sheets

I will perhaps send you some oranges from my garden
                       with their leaves.

         –Berthe Morisot, letter to Stephane Mallarme,
                   28 February 1889

She flecks dozens greens by
Ocher priming spreads through
Rectangles draped and white
Strokes hatch cerulean rose

Rustles a pair wide and spare
Brushed blanks barely hung
Over the smudged foliage
The woman hangs arranges

Dress aside much understated
Features thick fold she alights
Weighted skirts a cast of cloth
Violet undulates by all blue

Her arms a small garment dry
Pause the brisk diagonals lift
Line strung a garden of white
Bits hung between still thinner

Rust-burnished squares curved
As her elbow abutting left sheet
Enfolded orange surfacing maybe
Breath stretched between breast


Sarah Riggs will publish Word Sightings: Visual Media and the American Poet in summer 2002 (Routledge) and is currently writing a book of poems. She paints and photographs color abstracts, and lives in Paris and Provence.