The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Anne Lesley Selcer’s “A Book of Poems on Beauty”

Anne Selcer

The Picture of Dorian Gray (at 16 frames per second) The sunlight

slipped over the polished leaves. In the grass, white daisies were tremulous.

The spray of lilac fell from his hand upon the gravel. A furry bee came

and buzzed round it for a moment. In the slanting beams that streamed

through the open doorway the dust danced and was golden. The heavy

scent of roses seemed to brood over everything. Some large blue china

jars and parrot tulips were ranged on the mantelshelf, and through the

small leaded panes of the window streamed the apricot-coloured light of

a summer day in London. The sunset had smitten into scarlet gold the

upper windows of the houses opposite. The panes glowed like plates of

heated metal. The sky above was like a faded rose. The tulip beds across

the road flamed like throbbing rings of fire. A white dust, tremulous cloud

of orris-root it seemed, hung in the panting air. The brightly-coloured

parasols danced like monstrous butterflies. The darkness lifted, and,

flushed with faint fires, the sky hollowed itself into a perfect pearl. Huge

carts filled with nodding lilies rumbled slowly down the polished empty

street. The sky was pure opal now, and the roofs of the houses glistened

like silver against it. From some chimney opposite a thin wreath of smoke

was rising. It curled, a violet riband, through the nacre-coloured air.

This selection comes from Anne Lesley Selcer’s A Book of Poems On Beauty, available from Gazing Grain Press. Purchase your copy here!

Anne Lesley Selcer is a poet and art writer. In 2014 from A Book of Poems on Beauty was chosen by Dawn Lundy Martin for Gazing Grain press. A double chapbook with Lara Durbeck was recently published by Supersuperette press. In 2013 SFMoma commissioned her for a series of essays and she wrote on language and the moving image. The book Banlieusard was commissioned in 2005 by Artspeak gallery, and other writing has been anthologized in It’s night in San Francisco, but it’s sunny in Oakland, The Feeling is Mutual: A list of our fucking demands, NW Edge III: the end of reality, and The Physics of Context. Poems are forthcoming in Fence and Armed Cell and have appeared in Dusie, Where Eagles Dare, and The Clackamus Review, among others. Art writing can be found in catalogs or monographs for galleries such as Centre A, the Or and the Helen Pitt gallery, and TV Books / Deitch Projects as well as in magazines Fillip and Doppelganger magazines. In San Francisco, she was a member of the Nonsite Collective. In Vancouver she created and curated the Chroma Reading Series series for artists, poets and researchers. She is the current resident at Krowswork gallery.

Darren C. Demaree is the author of three poetry collections, As We Refer to Our Bodies (2013, 8th House), Temporary Champions (2014, Main Street Rag), and Not For Art For Prayer (2015, 8th House). He is the recipient of three Pushcart Prize nominations and a Best of the Net nomination. He is also a founding editor of Ovenbird Poetry and AltOhio. He is currently living in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and children.


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