The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Eva Heisler’s “Drawing Water”

Eva Heisler

From Eva Heisler’s book “Drawing Water”

                              Make black more precious than a rival’s crimson.

                                                                

What I learned from Goya’s black—
            to light anti-clerical candles against black walls

                                                                □

What I learned from Manet’s black—
            to scrape the mirror’s back.

                                                                □

What I learned from Matisse’s black—
            to creep downstairs in the middle of the night and exchange blue silk for
black wool.

                                                                □

What I learned from Reinhardt’s black—
            that the black is not black but yellow and sometimes purple.

                                                                □

What I learned from Dickinson’s black—

This selection comes from Eva Heisler’s book Drawing Water, available from Noctuary Press! Purchase your copy here!

Eva Heisler is a Maryland-born poet and art critic who lived in Iceland for many years and now resides in Germany. Reading Emily Dickinson in Icelandic (Kore Press, 2013) features a series of prose poems that explore failures of translation, the materiality of voice, and the relationship of language to perception. The book-length poem Drawing Water (Noctuary Press, 2013) meditates on line (conceptual line, descriptive line, expressive line, and found line) in an attempt to rethink the poetic line. Vocabulary Landscape, a work-in progress, explores the language of landscape description; an excerpt was recently published in Asymptote.

Leslie LaChance‘s poems have appeared in Quiddity, JMWW, the Best of the Net Anthology, Apple Valley Review, The Greensboro Review, Juked, The Birmingham Poetry Review, Slow Trains, Free Lunch, Chronogram, and Appalachian Journal. She also edits Mixitini Matrix: A Journal of Creative Collaboration. Her chapbook, How She Got That Way, appears in the quartet volume Mend & Hone from Toadlily Press.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Eva Heisler’s “Drawing Water”

Cover - Drawing Water-page-001

From Eva Heisler’s “Drawing Water”

Women stand in stocking feet; each read aloud a different poem at the same
time.

I recognize the cadence of poetry but I cannot locate poems.

line break heart break

A sign announces “rest area of the unattractive.”

Another indicates “rest area of the witty.”

We teeter as we read with weak voices, as signs sort us into the lovely
and the unlovely, as reflections on a polished floor
break at our feet, as our voices
break, as bones
break in our dreams, as poems
break into incoherencies, as the sea
breaks at our back door.

[rest area of the wise / rest area of the unwise / rest area of the
attractive / rest area of the unattractive /
rest area of the stout and unlawful]

This selection comes from Eva Heisler’s book Drawing Water, available from Noctuary Press! Purchase your copy here!

Eva Heisler is a Maryland-born poet and art critic who lived in Iceland for many years and now resides in Germany. Reading Emily Dickinson in Icelandic (Kore Press, 2013) features a series of prose poems that explore failures of translation, the materiality of voice, and the relationship of language to perception. The book-length poem Drawing Water (Noctuary Press, 2013) meditates on line (conceptual line, descriptive line, expressive line, and found line) in an attempt to rethink the poetic line. Vocabulary Landscape, a work-in progress, explores the language of landscape description; an excerpt was recently published in Asymptote.

Leslie LaChance‘s poems have appeared in Quiddity, JMWW, the Best of the Net Anthology, Apple Valley Review, The Greensboro Review, Juked, The Birmingham Poetry Review, Slow Trains, Free Lunch, Chronogram, and Appalachian Journal. She also edits Mixitini Matrix: A Journal of Creative Collaboration. Her chapbook, How She Got That Way, appears in the quartet volume Mend & Hone from Toadlily Press.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Eva Heisler’s “Drawing Water”

Eva Heisler

From Eva Heisler’s book “Drawing Water”

                                                                                                              memory:

                                                                                kneeling beneath a table
                                           trying
                                                                                     to cover the underside
                                                                                               with blue crayon

                    this was drawing was movement of the arm back
and forth across
                                                                            pine boards / no sky
                                            no star / arm / back blue / forth blue

                                                         

The first broad aspect of a thing is that of color patch red like thyme
red like thistle red like nettle red like heather as a patch of red flannel
carries the first memory of old smell

                                    to make secret blue / to make a secret blue surface

                                                         

                                                                                                              memory:
                               late afternoon, September, the smell of chalk dust,
                                                                  the smell of an overripe banana
                    and Sam popping gum in time to “Black Magic Woman”
                                                                                    I saw “negative space”
                  saw that triangle between the curve of a hip and an arm
                                                       another triangle between spread legs
                   I drew the contours of an emptiness and a body emerged
                                            the world was charged with negative space
                                                                                                             mother’s
           spatula-bearing body was an interruption in negative space
                                                       my sister, working the cherry pitter,
                                              was a wheezing rupture in negative space
                                                                                                       lying in bed,
                                                     the body was breach in negative space

This selection comes from Eva Heisler’s book Drawing Water, available from Noctuary Press! Purchase your copy here!

Eva Heisler is a Maryland-born poet and art critic who lived in Iceland for many years and now resides in Germany. Reading Emily Dickinson in Icelandic (Kore Press, 2013) features a series of prose poems that explore failures of translation, the materiality of voice, and the relationship of language to perception. The book-length poem Drawing Water (Noctuary Press, 2013) meditates on line (conceptual line, descriptive line, expressive line, and found line) in an attempt to rethink the poetic line. Vocabulary Landscape, a work-in progress, explores the language of landscape description; an excerpt was recently published in Asymptote.

Leslie LaChance‘s poems have appeared in Quiddity, JMWW, the Best of the Net Anthology, Apple Valley Review, The Greensboro Review, Juked, The Birmingham Poetry Review, Slow Trains, Free Lunch, Chronogram, and Appalachian Journal. She also edits Mixitini Matrix: A Journal of Creative Collaboration. Her chapbook, How She Got That Way, appears in the quartet volume Mend & Hone from Toadlily Press.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Eva Heisler’s “Drawing Water”

Cover - Drawing Water-page-001

From Eva Heisler’s “Drawing Water”

K’s little book is three pages.

Each page is filled with an inky circle.

Each ragged circle is a period taken from a poem by Halldór Laxness
and magnified until it fills the page.

K. tells me he wanted to see how little he could do and still make a
book of poetry.

                                                               

                 …a stone may be round or angular, polished or rough, cracked
                       like an ill-glazed teacup, or as broad as the breast of a hero.
                   It may be as flaky as a wafer, as powdery as a field puff-ball;
                                                                       it may be fused like a glass bottle,
                                                                              or crystallized like hoar-frost,
                                                                                               or veined like a leaf:
                                                                    look at the stone, and try to forget
                                                                   how you were told to “do a stone.”

                                                                

                       The line break is hesitation or resistance or acquiescence
                                                     or a tiny rip in the mesh of a screen door.

      Lines may multiply as cracks across the surface of an old painting
                          or lines may measure and slice like a butcher’s cleaver.

                                                                                                  White synonyms.

                                                   K’s aberrant periods revoke transparency.

This selection comes from Eva Heisler’s book Drawing Water, available from Noctuary Press! Purchase your copy here!

Eva Heisler is a Maryland-born poet and art critic who lived in Iceland for many years and now resides in Germany. Reading Emily Dickinson in Icelandic (Kore Press, 2013) features a series of prose poems that explore failures of translation, the materiality of voice, and the relationship of language to perception. The book-length poem Drawing Water (Noctuary Press, 2013) meditates on line (conceptual line, descriptive line, expressive line, and found line) in an attempt to rethink the poetic line. Vocabulary Landscape, a work-in progress, explores the language of landscape description; an excerpt was recently published in Asymptote.

Leslie LaChance‘s poems have appeared in Quiddity, JMWW, the Best of the Net Anthology, Apple Valley Review, The Greensboro Review, Juked, The Birmingham Poetry Review, Slow Trains, Free Lunch, Chronogram, and Appalachian Journal. She also edits Mixitini Matrix: A Journal of Creative Collaboration. Her chapbook, How She Got That Way, appears in the quartet volume Mend & Hone from Toadlily Press.

The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Eva Heisler’s “Drawing Water”

Eva Heisler

From Eva Heisler’s book “Drawing Water”

                              Take the horizon line, for example,
                                                                            a mirage—

                                         that marks the limit of sight.

                                             

I spend much of my writing time seeking the horizon
line. I know that there is no such line but I see the line
when I look up from small blocks of text and squint at
the sea. To write prose poems is to resist the horizon
line—

to seek thick thin straight curved broken wavy lines
among crumpled pages.

I work with little ink in my pen and hardly make a
mark.

                                              

I shade squares while I wait
for the phone to ring. I draw boxes while I
listen to a lover
                complain about his bowels. I draw
                            circles inside boxes. I divide
                               circles into quarters; I add
                                    a circle to each quarter;
                                                   another square.
                                                       The patterns,
             like the carpet pages of Irish monks,
                   mean to bewilder evil thoughts.

_______________. This line is rational.

_______________. This line is irrational.

                                             □

The squares expand into wobbly architecture as H. goes on
about something heard on the BBC or an article in The New York
Review of Books. Occasionally I transcribe something he says: I
couldn’t stand my father’s face in the mirror when he was shaving…the nose
was crooked…ugly…what mirror trick was this… The marks are not
symbolic but physical, something to do with releasing a lover’s
energy while listening

to the description of a rough patch on the back of his left hand.
I stop marking when I talk, my hand gesturing in the air and, at
last, where the page is too dark, I use the edge of my penknife
lightly, and for some time, to wear lines softly into an even tone.
The difficulty consists in achieving evenness: one bit always
appears darker

than another; or there will be a granulated and sandy look over
the page (and in my voice). I give up the rough page and begin
another square. I keep many squares in progress at one time, and
I reserve my pen for the light square just when the ink is nearly
exhausted. The square ought, at last, to appear light and even,
with no lines visible.

This selection comes from Eva Heisler’s book Drawing Water, available from Noctuary Press! Purchase your copy here!

Eva Heisler is a Maryland-born poet and art critic who lived in Iceland for many years and now resides in Germany. Reading Emily Dickinson in Icelandic (Kore Press, 2013) features a series of prose poems that explore failures of translation, the materiality of voice, and the relationship of language to perception. The book-length poem Drawing Water (Noctuary Press, 2013) meditates on line (conceptual line, descriptive line, expressive line, and found line) in an attempt to rethink the poetic line. Vocabulary Landscape, a work-in progress, explores the language of landscape description; an excerpt was recently published in Asymptote.

Leslie LaChance‘s poems have appeared in Quiddity, JMWW, the Best of the Net Anthology, Apple Valley Review, The Greensboro Review, Juked, The Birmingham Poetry Review, Slow Trains, Free Lunch, Chronogram, and Appalachian Journal. She also edits Mixitini Matrix: A Journal of Creative Collaboration. Her chapbook, How She Got That Way, appears in the quartet volume Mend & Hone from Toadlily Press.