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Harrod & Jordan – Nov.13

Lois Marie Harrod and Mia Jordan traded art and words. Mia shared this drawing, “Grandma’s Shed,” with Lois:

grandmas_shed In response, Lois wrote this poem:


In the heat of summer
when Grandma shed her black shoes
and laid herself down
on cool white sheets

as if another had laid her out–
she having shed all
that kept her upright
for an hour or two–

I liked to sit in the shed,
in its warm odors of earth and dust,
hoes and trowels,
everything wiped and oiled

before it was put away,
shovels, scythes,
not a musty smell,
but the sniff of old wood,

what was itself still
locust, sycamore, oak, pine,
what was leaving, had left
its Ohio mead or copse,

and I liked the dusty window,
the light shed through it,
light fingering the hatchet
edge, ax handle,

pitchfork and auger,
spade and shears,
shell, integument
husk, rind—

as if I were naming one tool
and another, learning
the bones of a body
not my own—

a body that might remain
here, redolent long after
I wed and withered,
toiled and died.

* * * * *

Lois shared this poem with Mia:

The White Cat

In Picasso’s The Lovers I am the white cat,
drawn on the white tuxedo tail that turns into a sheet
that turns into a bed. I am the white cat Picasso drew

after the black cat in Manet’s “Olympia, that bit
of Paris puss difficult to see in reproduction, fading
as sex so easily fades into art. I am the catty woman

watching the black and white gentleman who says
let us dance. He knows what he wants in his black
tuxedo with a shirt like a white guitar, our clothes are

music, my fur is silk, let us dance, she says, raising
her Spanish chin, her slip like an ostrich tail. I am the cat
that reads the puns, the newspaper strewn on the floor,

the letters cut from L’Intransigeant. Sigeant–yes,
that giant Manet, his great name over the drawing
in the upper right-hand corner of Picasso’s The Lovers,

the drawing that could be a window, I think it is,
the window through which I come and go, I, the watcher’s
watcher, Picasso’s catty self, black in my derived white,

the feline perception, and like my god by god I see
from as many angles as he, the tuxedo tail becomes
a white sheet, the white sheet becomes a bed

with its leonine feet, the bed a lovers’ fall. And I sit
there almost unseen on the white belly of love and still
see the glove on her belly, she whom he loves,

and all that white glove implies about the way lovers
own each others’ bodies. Oh, that hand with which he
holds the glass of champagne, all the celebration here

in the chair, the divan, the sheet, the door, the bed
on which I lie, and he is turning her and she is turning,
dropping her rosy bouquet onto the floor.

In response, Mia drew this, “The White Cat, The Sheet”:


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