the muse apprentice guild
--expanding the canon into the 21st century




WORK
BY MADELEINE MARIE SLAVICK


"COLORing words"


WHOLE

Cut some green out
for a little fresh shirt
or frilly kitchen curtains,
and you've orphaned a shrub

Green lives the need to express
wraps hills with respect,
makes grassland honest
seduces moss
affirms trees

And vines decide its maze

================

RED

triumphant advertisement
you saturate reaction

delicious monster
you and sex run a thousand stop signs

chinese pools
you wet yourself with double happiness and blood-starred armies

ancient purity
monthly drops arrive like warm reminders

================

SEEING BLUE

Blue is everything we cannot touch
Two eyes of open sea
Porcelain sky
A halo

You flirt
You impress
A startled chance
The coldest wavelength

Blue seduces beauty, innocence, power-
Crucial mirror, delicate game,
Can we trust your clarity?
Is wisdom patient?

Truth happens every day
The sky watches our wars
Like a sea that cannot swim
See how brave, how tender a bridge is

================

ACCORDING TO

Disbelievers never wear black.
They say dishonesty can happen,
want colors that speak,
not black and white disappearances.
Black, they say, is the only color
where we fail. Our retinas cannot work.

Believers don't resent this.
They trust the absences,
get tranced in the velvet dark,
love a body bigger than promised.
Black and white, they say, are the only colors
with vulnerability. To exist, they need something else.

================

AS WHITE AS

She was born
as white as
the fingernails and bone
entrusted to her

as white as
a piece of chalk
used or unused

as white as
moon out of shadow
walls rebounding florescence

as white as
an ice chandelier
dripping wax and water

as white as
overcast days
placeless

as white as
her stomach,
trying not to be overfed
on someone else.

================

BURNT ORANGE

The worn orange of
amber fire
autumn ground
late dusk haystacks
happens
when the shock of red
is shed to collect
a little sallow yellow
and some sorrow of brown.
It fills a Burma cup
with an experience of pain
and the promise of justice.

================

BEIGE KEEPS BEING BORN

================

THE WAY WE LIKE IT

Pink and purple,
please don't wilt
into a prissy pastel pantsuit
afraid of god's perfect dirt
 
Drink long opinions full of violets
Generate lush heat
Be sure of your admirers

================

WHAT TO DO

Etch forest slate
dig into city cement
scratch stainless steel counters
finger up to the one connected cloud
It's time to write your gifts to the world

================

OMNIPOTENCE

Gold, you know exactly
where you are. You spread
a churched distance,
you swell
with sweaty capitalism,
you beg us.
Why do we want to touch you?
Or do we want salvation?
Forget the silly trims and
accessories,
those daily ascensions
into the religion
of show and tell-
let the original
element, softer
warmer
resonate
with earth
flesh
sweet
for in the evening, when the one
sun
and its show
collapses,
we too can fall
and the sigh
the sigh
if the golden arms that catch
us
are not malleable
with love.
Somewhere, everywhere
in the sunflower fields
live moments
of joy. Nothing else
is needed. Quick,
before the late summer droop
begins
and gold gets sad
again. Quick, before we return
to gilded selves, protected
with years of the wrong
omniscience.