In her own words...



If Art would only talk it would, at last, reveal
itself for what it is, what we all burn to know.

As for our certainties, it would fetch a dry yawn
then take a minute to sweep them under the rug:

certainties time-honored as meaningless as dust
under the rug. High time, my dears, to listen up.

Finally Art would talk, fill the sky like a mouth,
clear its convulsive throat while flashes and crashes

erupted as it spoke---a star-shot avalanche of
visions in uproar, swelled by the breathy din

of sound-bites as we strain to hear its august words:
“a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z”.


About this work

“Artspeak” was first published in Southwest Review, Vol. 94, no. 2 (2009), p. 186.  It is also included in Dorothea Tanning's book, Coming to That: Poems, New York: Graywolf Press, 2011, p. 44, and may not be reprinted without the publisher's permission.