(Slapering Hol Press at The Hudson Valley Writers’ Center, Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., 2014)
Julie Danho’s Six Portraits is the 2013 winner of the annual Slapering Hol Press Chapbook Contest sponsored by one of the oldest chapbook presses in the United States. The poems in this collection include:
Erased de Kooning
Robert Rauschenberg wanted to know if unmaking art
could make art. This idea seems too much for me,
having just seen giant irises blooming out of a wall, a painted
lower intestine, a woman’s bust sculpted from soap. But I’m standing
before his canvas, his Erased de Kooning Drawing, and, like much art,
its title tells me what to see. If you were here, how you would
praise this, how we would argue over whether this was true,
over what, if anything, was. Rauschenberg erased a de Kooning
that de Kooning reluctantly gave him because he appreciated
the idea, and it was, Rauschenberg said, all about the idea.
He erased the painting in celebration, just as you (I wish I could believe)
erase me. Not that I’m art, or you’re art, but weren’t we ideas
of each other? If you were here, you’d make your point, walk away
before you saw that Rauschenberg erased for a month and still
there are ink spots, de Kooning’s violet crayon; there are even eyes,
still looking. My love, Rauschenberg lied. The idea,
yes. But how his arms must have ached afterwards.
Julie Danho received her MFA from Ohio State University and recipient of a Fellowship Merit Award in Poetry from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. Julie won the 2013 Slapering Hol Press Chapbook Competition with her collection Six Portraits. Her poems and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in such publications as Barrow Street, Southern Poetry Review, Bellingham Review, Cream City Review, and West Branch. She works as an editor in Providence, Rhode Island.