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This poem is taken from PN Review 192, Volume 36 Number 4, March - April 2010.

Inscriptions for Chinese Paintings Marsha Pomerantz

1
I, Stick, paint this in the style of my master, Branch, but
cannot attain the iridescence of his bark in darkness.

11th day of the 5th moon, which returns and returns, but
not to me.


2
This splinter rests among begonia leaves as if it were a
flower. Fingers know the wisdom of brushing nothing
away.

Inscribed in the 5th moon by a mind without fingers.


3
Here is a filament of spider-spit knitted with dust, smiled
upon by light. My friend, turned to ash, was dispersed by a
gust. A cinder of his lung lodged in my throat.

12th day of the 5th moon, which sputters through me like a
breath, deepening.


4
Leaves green the celery woods of spring: brushes, and their
lines lengthening in the breeze.

19th day of a moon as smooth as the rim of a robin’s nest
from which all have fallen.


5
When I moved the black pine into the picture, its roots
...


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