“Kind of Blue” by Lynn Powell

Not Delft or 
delphinium, not Wedgewood
among the knickknacks, not wide-eyed chicory 
evangelizing in the devil strip—

      But way on down in the moonless 
      octave below midnight, honey,
      way down where you can’t tell cerulean from teal.

Not Mason jars of moonshine, not 
waverings of silk, not the long-legged hunger 
of a heron or the peacock’s 
iridescent id—

      But Delilahs of darkness, darling,
      and the muscle of the mind
      giving in.

Not sullen snow slumped 
against the garden, not the first instinct of flame, 
not small, stoic ponds, or the cold derangement
of a jealous sea—

      But bluer than the lips of Lazarus, baby, 
      before Sweet Jesus himself could figure out 
      what else in the world to do but weep.

Moving through the atmospherics of "blue" by the via negativa, Lynn Powell conjures a jazz riff worthy of the master.
(University of Wisconsin Press, 2017)

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