The Necessary Light
The harbor is a wash of ultramarine, flat, spread into distance, hatched with loose flecks of Prussian blue, underneath a frothing of gouache. The mountains are cut paper, stacked triangles hewn from overlapping browns, connecting planes that grant the impression of a road forever curving out of view. The bottle is a grid, crosshatched green lines, whose segments close ranks, ink mimicking the border between light and shadow, between table and glass. But the crux is the horizon, the point between, mark of our mutual vanishing. And the eye is the clerestory through whose panes pass the necessary light.
Still Life with Pear
Pear on the table. What can I touch besides roundness, age, and light? You trouble a pause on my page that affords a trace of time, for your skin holds a record in its sequence of hues. I need my brush to catch as the water moves, the first curled wave of color leaching yellow into pulp. The sun moves, too, as I wash green and green and green over your flesh. The leaves will come later in this resurrection.
David Carlson is Professor of English at California State University San Bernardino, where he has taught for twenty years. David is founding co-editor of Transmotion (an online, open access journal of indigenous studies hosted by the University of Kent). His poems have appeared in Pacific Review, Inlandia, and Poemeleon. He is also an amateur painter, working primarily in watercolor.