August 2007

R. W. Jagodnik


This marks an author's first online publication R. W. Jagodnik works with developmentally disabled people in Milwaukie, Oregon. He and his wife hope to live in the woods someday soon.

Ode To Firsts

to Joan


Firsts are everywhere—yes, and,
Van Gogh was a first—a fist of
agony, loping off his ear in a plume
of rage (or epileptic seizure, maybe,
no one's sure—Monet whose
Giverny paintings gave me a first �
a first nub into blues let bleed by fingertips
of Buddha, a blue leaning overtly gaunt
into the soberingly assiduous blank,
no, not blank, no, black, no, not black, no . . .
something quietly pressing deep
notes deeper into the ear, maybe
the one Vincent cut      (cut)          
                    I wonder if he wanted to string it,
                    put it, tied off, on a thong around
                    his own thick neck or Theo's or Gaugin's
                    or that prostitute he left in Amsterdam.

And yes, I realize, yes, I do know that if you
revisit the same place over and over and over,
grooves this deep happen, shifts happen,
blow-ins happen, shames happen,
yarrows of yellow lullabies happen.

Yes, but first, quaint notions well on you.
And that's when we do the pruning.
Yes, that clock-wise spiral into that tunnel
"leading" us into our own un-blanketed,
fledgling circles is the round.


Monet's "The Paths"

The asymmetry of it all, the just
oranges of it all, moss greening
along the spinning blues, that teal

no one wants to remember, just
slightly faded off "snub-nose steel,"
that blue at dusk which kills us all

a little more each and every night,
that curious splotch just above the lily.


Something close to that fast focus of
firsts, posed with pen or brush or lip or
hand or foot or needle out-stretched,
calmly aware, ready, comprisable and
surprising—that's what firsts
are all about, sounding and spinning,
yes, yes . . . . gerunds of firsts . . . .

do you remember that painting I can't
remember who painted, those two sisters hugging,
their white-blouse-balanced leaning,
their blood-red ribbon bounding hair,
their blue-skirt-wide-eyed gazing . . . .



R. W. Jagodnik: Poetry
Copyright ©2007 The Cortland Review Issue 36The Cortland Review