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September 17, 2015 | Poetry

Three Poems

Sarah Ann Winn

Three Poems photo

Tim Gunn Advises Wallace Stevens in the Project Runway Workroom

Note: Text is complete poem of Wallace Stevens Disillusionment at 10 o’clock and Tim Gunn quotes from various seasons of Project Runway, except the specific italics filling in the words formerly model and designer respectively.

WS:  The houses are haunted by white night-gowns.

TG:  She looks like an elongated marshmallow. Listen to your own voice. Tell her there's a reason why she's a ghost wearing a nightgown and you're the poet.

WS: None are green, or purple with green rings, or green with yellow rings, or yellow with blue rings.

TG: If you are going to do this, I mean, do it! Make it exuberant!

WS: None of them are strange, with socks of lace, and beaded ceintures.

TG: It’s like Eva Gabor in Green Acres.

WS: People are not going to dream of baboons and periwinkles.

TG: What are you doing? This is such wretched excess.

WS: Only, here and there…

TG: Being this tight and close to the deadline, with this much work to do, a little alarming!

WS: An old sailor, drunk and asleep in his boots catches tigers in red weather.

TG: It’s a little Wonder Woman. All I can say is, make it work! Give them that electric shock that sends Nina's shoes across the runway!
 

Self Portrait as Julia Child's Canard a l'Orange

As a bird of spring,
your duckling will most
likely be frozen.

Be sure it’s fully plucked
and rinsed, before you
set it aside. At first

you may find its skin
sallow, distasteful,
but you also await

sauce. Warm olive oil.
Warm fresh rosemary.
Slice carrots and onions

delicately. Brown
with the bird. Continue
until you are both

sleek, flavors sealed. Strain
and skim off the fat.
Remove the wishbone.

Unwing the bird.
Rub the area
with salt and lemon.

Prick the skin in inch
intervals along
the backbone.  Aerate.

Peel four Valencia
oranges. Place them
on moons of cut wax

paper. Wrap orange
peels and peeled oranges
then refrigerate.

Some of the peel goes
in the sauce and some
goes in the duck. Let

this be your new motto.
Remove bitterness
by simmering. Taste

carefully, savor
the broth. Identify
problems before you

correct the seasoning.
Curl up at either
end of the platter

and languish as garnish.
Don’t worry about
too much, or too little.

A good wine never
goes amiss. Use liberally.
Butter with abandon! 

Do not stare overlong
at this recipe. Rifle through
your utensil drawer

for a timer. Discard it.
Do not dress. Wait,
someone may yet applaud.
 

A Bargain

There is a sale at the night market. We put everything on credit, and spend more time than we’ve got, strolling around looking through windows at mannequins wearing moments from the past, perfectly posed. I ask the cashier about size options. About a discount hour of sixteen again missing its tag. She flips a page of her magazine without looking up, and tells me Venus will one day come again between the sun and the earth. She says I should wait here, in line beside the jellies and glam rockers for the 80s to reappear out from behind Mars. She says the moon is just an overflowing ashtray with butts buried in the dark side. She turns the sign in the window off, and goes outside for a smoke.

image: "The Truth" by Martha Clarkson


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