Four poems from “Ruins of a glittering palace”

 

San Francisco Bay Area poet Maw Shein Win arranges perceptions in fragments, like the pieces of a broken mirror — or perhaps, and not so jagged, like droplets. Each distinct but reflecting some greater whole, each filled with its own silence and implication — compelling absences for readers to populate. The following four poems and accompanying paintings are excerpted from “Ruins of a glittering palace,” a collaboration between Win and the Los Angeles-based artist Mark Dutcher. — Editor.

Atmosphere Vanishing Point (Flight), 2011, 36"x32"

Atmosphere Vanishing Point (Flight), 2011, 36″x32″

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Questions for the silvery moth

Does beauty hurt?
Only in the ribs.

Will the path lead to the briny ferns?
Don’t count your kitchens.
Antelope crawls its way along the freeway overheads & underdogs.

Do we love because we have to?
Choose the one. No, the broken one.
A basket of flesh roses. Bright blood. Kind cousins.

Does a cat feel?
Insidious.

Why do we pain?
Only the Buddha knows.

Who calls forth the longing?
Sunny-side up.

When will the boat arrive?
Push repeat.

What about your feathery ways?
The ocean is silver because it reflects the sky.

 


Pretending to See the Future, 2011, 81x58-1/2

Pretending to See the Future, 2011, 81×58-1/2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The blue hula skirt

& paper cut-out palm trees
encircle the pair on the stage
the dance has changed
the master of ceremonies

in a white gown
a parrot perched
on his shoulder
the dancers lurch forward

toward the blue spotlight
the parrot pierces the cheek
of the minister
he starts to bleed

the dance is done

 


The Ruins (detail), 2009  60" x 60"

The Ruins (detail), 2009 60″ x 60″

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

cellars & bells

bells & cellars
& high-pitched
transmissions

nonchalant ambiance
holding at the station
blink tricks, whippets

pearly river
whorls, star whistles
syllables insist

linen space & blanket
-ed layers
look at me now and here i am

assuredly a shape
unmade, she stayed

 


The Sun, 2010, 85" x 97"

The Sun, 2010, 85″ x 97″

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

singular

silvery rivulets
on skin & pins
& nettles

snippets of sinking
singular she
shivers & slivers

stray cakes
unwashed glasses
she glances at maps of france

the rest of the body was warm. covered in many blankets. the cold wind came through the window.

it made her head cold. covered in many blankets. the rest of the body was warm.

watery ferns
an optical ending
the optical beginning

 


Maw Shein Win‘s poetry and prose has been published in diverse print and online journals. She is co-founder of Comet and co-publisher of Stretcher. She received a Women Writers Fellowship in Italy and completed a residency at Can Serrat in Spain. She was an Artist-in-Residence at the Headlands Center for the Arts, and is a freelancer at the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto.

Born in 1963 in Newport Beach, California, Mark Dutcher has been exhibiting in Southern California since the early 1990s. He has had solo exhibitions at Steve Turner Contemporary, Santa Monica Museum of Art, and Solway Jones Gallery. Dutcher’s work has been in numerous group shows, including the 2004 California Biennial at the Orange County Museum of Art and C24 gallery in New York.

Win and Dutcher’s collaboration “Ruins of a glittering palace” was recently published in a limited edition by SPA.

Maw Shein Win

Maw Shein Win

Maw Shein Win‘s poetry and prose has been published in diverse print and online journals. She is co-founder of Comet and co-publisher of Stretcher. She received a Women Writers Fellowship in Italy and completed a residency at Can Serrat in Spain. She was an Artist-in-Residence at the Headlands Center for the Arts, and is a freelancer at the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto.
Maw Shein Win

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2 Comments on “Four poems from “Ruins of a glittering palace”

  1. Pingback: Why There Are Words Features The Fabulist June 12, 2014 | Why There Are Words

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