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Featured Poet: Richard Deming


Eyewear is very pleased to welcome the American poet Richard Deming this week (pictured) as the featured poet.  Deming is a poet, art critic, and a theorist who works on the philosophy of literature and visual culture. His poems have appeared in such places as Sulfur, Field, Indiana Review, and The Nation, as well as Great American Prose Poems: From Poe to the Present. He regularly writes for The Boston Review and Artforum


The Picture of JB in a Prospect of Ladyboys


(after John Ashbery after Andrew Marvell, for Joshua Brown)


I.

A hand holding a soda trembles
as some latent wish casts its lots.
The generous arch of a penciled brow
brings the gaze up close. Where else do

names choose their changeable places?
And the one girl with an impossibly
slim waist faces the camera and smiles,
while uneven skirts sway above the knees.

In this picture there’s no nearby garden
and everyone’s eyes are wide open.



II.

Did you? For how much? and how must
the imagination quicken
a reality that is and is more
necessary than the one in

hand, the one we’ll squint and blur
into focus.  Curiosity is a kind of daily
translucence and their hair’s so long,
it invents  its own virtue.

Leave things be for now. Forgive me,
standing beside you, they are so lovely.



III.

There may be a future of doctors,
hormones, a shiny scalpel meant
to slit and fold because truth’s
a hard thing when it’s wrong.

The animal light of being
wanted is more than comfort and
persistence—the body directs
itself, everyone, all of us, along

for the ride. There’s a word for
these swelling hips. Reform its
error into certain reply.

Battered by luck and the fast intent
of the dream of otherwise,
give us a kiss for the hope that bears
all it’s given. Just put your lips together.


poem by Richard Deming; published at Eyewear with permission of the author.
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