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Red Paint

/sarah gridley


Had you not long since shaken off scripture for the finer sense of light in trees, and had you not thereby forgotten the quiet place in the Gospel of John where Je- sus will be bending down to mark something with his finger in the ground before standing up to speak, and after saying what he has to say, will resume this spell of ciphering? And if pantomine is not the word for this, or dumbshow or dis- traction, and if therefore besides the wordiness, the sure long- windedness of scripture, and crossing in and out of it as light through trusting trees is this la- cuna, little pond, or lake, or hole, or wheeling window where our reason lives & where what Mary’s son allows (or leaves to the wide & terrible discretion of human self- allowance) is not unlike a mirror traveling with a traveling sky. The Irish poet called it a rift. In favor of this, I have crossed out pan- tomine and crossed out throwing stones as if that theorem or drawing Jesus pursues in John 8:6-8 is a thing to be remembered without being put into words, a surplus to be made sense of silently— before being scuffed out, spit, or rained on, or otherwise made to disappear.

Sarah Gridley has written four books of poetry: Weather Eye Open (University of California Press, 2005), Green is the Orator (University of California Press, 2010), Loom (Omnidawn Publishing, 2013, awarded the 2011 Open Book Prize by Carl Phillips), and Insofar (New Issues Press, 2020, awarded the 2019 Green Rose Prize by Forrest Gander). Other honors include the 2018 Cecil Hemley Award and the 2019 Writer Magazine/Emily Dickinson Award from the Poetry Society of America. Sarah is currently pursuing a Masters in Religious & Theological Studies at John Carroll University.


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