Wednesday Jun 19

VinesAdam Adam Vines is an assistant professor of English at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he is Editor of Birmingham Poetry Review and Director of the English Honors Program. He has published poems in Poetry, Kenyon Review, Southwest Review, Measure, Gulf Coast, The Hopkins Review, Subtropics, among others. He is the author of Out of Speech (forthcoming, LSU Press, 2018) and The Coal Life (U of Arkansas P, 2012) and coauthor of Day Kink (forthcoming, Unicorn Press, 2018) and According to Discretion (Unicorn Press, 2015). During the summers, he is on staff at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and on faculty at the Ada Long Creative Writing Workshop for high school students.

Social Capital and the Introduction of the Vanilla Egg
—Kandinsky’s Small Pleasures and Yellow Cow

A pile
of sheep
or armful

of balloons,
dribbling trail

of purses
in unison,

cane, Dreamsicle

scarf corkscrewing
the neck,

but we distrust

and the overpriced
café where

the tour ends
as much

as each other,
our headphones

still cupping
our ears
for safety

from each other.
If I carved

with my pen the front
leg of Yellow Cow
for brisket would

security let me be?
Would everyone

unplug, order the blue ribs,
the black hooves
halved from me?

And after we partook,
who would divide

the vanilla egg
beneath her udder
so we could share,

all of us share,
something sweet?

—Lichtenstein’s Brushstroke with Spatter

A finger inches,
trying to count
the Ben-Day dots

speckling the backdrop
like chiggers dug into
spread lats, then gives up

to Google.
The black and yellow stripe
twists like a garter

snake or the fatwood
seeping turpentine
it muscled beneath.

The blue spatter defies
the arbitrary or unconscious,
its drips and bars and dashes

profiled in black
willful as lines in a coloring book:
a crab carapace thinning

to a tapeworm then swelling
to two lovers’ enfettered torsos
keeping traction on a horse skull.

Then another finger,
trying to count
the Ben-Day dots.