featured works

Winter 2013:
Scott King: Plains Emerald

Bethany Schultz Hurst:
Etiquette for the Soft Skinned

Edgar Gabriel Silex: Grief

Summer 2013:
Heidi Shuler: Armadillo in Love
Anna Schachner: Sylvia

Antoinette Brim: Thank You Note To Picasso

Gary Fincke: The House Fox

Winter/Spring 2014 :
Edward Field: Getting Used to It—

Val Haynes: Shark Skin

Summer/Fall 2014:
Terrell Jamal Terry: Wrinkled Respite

Summer/Fall 2015:
Daniel Donaghy: Old Man Shooting Free Throws

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Pass It On Poetry

W. H. Auden’s nostalgia, Anne Sexton’s highs and lows, Edward Field’s rant, Muriel Rukeyser’s curse, W. C. Williams’ smirk, and Jack Gilbert’s whisper that we cannot measure the reach for the unattainable by success or failure…that strange bird Icarus has had his fair share of story tellers. Which brings us to Arkansas, where no one has ever been accused of being afraid to fail. There we find Antoinette Brim, asking Icarus, Was it worth it?

Brim’s new collection Icarus in Love bares her “ekphrastic impulse to see art and to participate in the dialogue it generates, its history and conversation, its great moments and the day to day, to grieve with fellow poets who pen lamentations for Trayvon, to fall into Van Gogh’s Starry Night.”

“When I revisit the work of the old masters, I don’t get how we—the world—got this way. There is such wisdom in the work of Hafiz, Rumi, and T’ao Ch’ien. We need innovation, like what poets Tyehimba Jess and Minnie Bruce Pratt are doing. Poetry needs these quiet sorts of revolutions—no yelling or filibustering—just the sound of pages turning and folks breathing and remembering how to understand weather by the wet blue smell of rain forming in the clouds.”

For all her big personality and loud laughter, Brim tends to be very introspective and contemplative. “My expectation is that there is meaning all around me and when I go into a painting I go into my world too. I am just trying to be a better person. Behind my curtain is a studio—paint, words, music playing, and the sound of hammering, sawing, sanding. I am all process. I am under construction.”
-- Barrett Warner, Editor

Thank You Note to Picasso

upon viewing Woman Ironing, 1904

I, too, have been the woman ironing:

with only one dagger of a shoulder pointing
heavenward; all else homebound: a tethered
resolve to smooth and straighten.

When a woman works,

scarcely few notice
the palette of blues she becomes:
parched lips in snowflake, or the bruised
crescents under her eyes, least of all,
her hair fading to powder.

Not in fields of heather, nor tomes of poetry—

instead, she labors in the bluing agent of laundry
neverending; it circles from bureau to body to basket
into scrub board blue-veined hands and then,
it hangs under threatening skies to dry,

until a woman irons

with only one dagger of a shoulder pointing
heavenward; all else homebound, tethered—


© 2013 Free State Review