Issue 14 – Summer 2008 – J. J. Blickstein

J. J. Blickstein


High Noon
after Edward Hopper


High noon where all the bullets have become the red clay in the foundation 
and there is nothing to resist in the landscape—               
the light squeezes the ghosts into a lover, into the anatomy of shadow
as an architectural soft kiss shedding the temporal, spatial prepositions like symbols
Light so hard that it is a forcible violation, a predator, promissory dictum
falling at an absolute, an evaporated angle down the roofline to the foot of the entrance where the blonde woman emerges 
off center from darkness with the odor of depth, erotic torment and open dress,
with a certain anticipation
where being becomes a time of day in the doorway of what could not be a simpler house
and the night is an eternity away from what was and what will be— 
Déjà vu in what is shed

A woman, a blonde emerges from what into what is not reality but a sort of dream
smudged from the sentimentality of time, place, century and of what is deemed authentic into the perpetual actuality of an idea as large as a nation or a bridge—
privacy and the memory of joy move very quietly into the red 
clay color intelligently stained into everything but the enormous 

step back, step back 
to breeze, to hollow, from control, to figment and sliver
away from the supernatural
to what cannot be obtained but seen
(this one is the only one, 
more than bourgeoisie in the midst of possession or thoughtful innocence,
             she has choices 
                          as if returning from the garden that is death
                          without myth, language or pedestal

the weight of the paint crushing itself from ‘49 into sketch



J.J. Blickstein is a poet, visual artist, & the editor of the now defunct Hunger Magazine. He lives in Upstate New York next to the Esopus River with a lovely biologist and three kids. He works as a stone mason/handyman and occasionally teaches about the tarot. A chapbook, Visions of Salt & Water was published by Bagatela Press (Juarez, Mexico/El Paso, TX, 2003). A book, Barefoot on a drawing of the Sun, was published by Fish Drum Inc. in 2006. He has appeared or is forthcoming in the following publications:

Van Gogh’s Ear (France), House OrganArson, Fire (UK), Skanky Possum, Milk, 5_TropeThe Louisiana ReviewDream International Quarterly, Sundog: A Southwestern Literary Review, Heavenbone, The TemplePitchfork, RattleLong Shot, Fish DrumShampooThe Butcher’s Block,, Schuykill Valley Journal of the ArtsFor Immediate Release (, ChronogramRantLiterary Passions, & Hart.

The Roundout Review (Cloud Mountain Press, 1991), The Subterraneans (Poet’s Gallery Press, 1998), American Diaspora: Poetry of Displacement (U. of Iowa Press, 2001), Dyed-in-the-wool (Wet Paint Publishing, 2001), Vespers: Religion & Spirituality Contemporary American Poetry(U. of Iowa Press, 2003), Shamanic WarriorsNow Poets (R&R Publishing, Scotland, 2004).