In her own words...

"Flea Market (Rainy Day)"


Get out of the car. Walk into. Look a web-sited spider in the eye
as she burnishes her mood and marquetry. T-shirts wilt nearby.

Picnicking through lace and bombazine she'll think wineglass
or Babylonian baby-face, pre-cast. Forgive her table for teethmarks.

Photography was invented in eighteen hundred and some proofs.
Pick up the leprous postcard: Samarkand or is it Tashkent? Hand-tinted

bluedomes spatter across the alley, sink in a last sunspot. Eiffel Tower
made of toothpicks, out of a story, out of a lifetime, if only I had made it —

Head in the clouds matching weather. Mindlessness lasting till noon.
Open a dog-eared treatise. It seems the gorilla was the first biped

to introduce lineage measure, basing his elegant reasoning on the notion
of reversal of dominance — it's sprinkling — form, indeed, a regression.

Dry me. Dry the mirror softly and she will not waken there, only don't
look back, you'll see no wearer for bracelets' tinny bangles braiding

small sound on rain-dropped picture frames gaping for lost walls,
and Hyacinth Rigaud who in chromolithography here paints his king.

Put your ear to our brain-dead clock, house and home of fleas. Tireless,
their little thuds mark time, the hours, the patina like ours. Let them

hold this summer's trance in water made of rain. No door to slam,
tarpaulins come out. Watch your step. Get the mirror into the car.




About this work

“Flea Market (Rainy Day)” was first published in Boston Review, Vol. 27, No. 6 (December 2002/January 2003), p. 34, and was featured in American Poet: The Journal of the Academy of American Poets, Spring 2003, p. 21, in conjunction with "Still Time: A Note on Dorothea Tanning's Poems" by Richard Howard, pp. 20-21.

“Flea Market (Rainy Day)” is also included in Dorothea Tanning's book, A Table of Content: Poems, New York: Graywolf Press, 2004, p. 18, and may not be reprinted without the publisher's permission.