A blind salmon swimming
after my older brother,
I pluck a name from the catalogue.
George Grosz. I know enough
to know he's famous,
but not for what. And from Germany,
soon to repatriate. Gill hooked. First
day of class, stationed by the door,
newsprint pad propped against easel,
I gasp as the male nude strikes
two-minute poses. Legs wide, calf muscles
taut, arms stretched overhead.
Leaning left, fingers spread.
My charcoal breaks.
Five poses, ten, warm-up
for a long study
of his lean buttocks, the black
stool on which he rests one heel.
A group clusters, teacher hidden,
words inaudible, then swarms
as he moves to another
drawing, coming closer until
the small man, arm lifted to correct
foreshortening, thick marks on a timid sketch,
is revealed. He catches my eyes,
before he looks away
and I grab my tablet, leave
the room, never to return.
This was published in an extremely small journal called "Purple Patch" in London. The editor just Xeroxes whatever he's accepted and shoves it in rather haphazardly.
I've always been fond of finding subversive or radical, very unconventional, places to send poems. My first work was published in "Struggle," a small radical journal that I've always liked. That editor sometimes sends me notes written in the most beautiful handwriting. He's true to his philosophy, a blue-collar worker who supports his political ideals. I quite admire him, Tim Hall.