The Brooklyn Rail

FEB 2023

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FEB 2023 Issue

On Katherine Bradford

Katherine Bradford,<em> Mutiny</em>, 2020. Acrylic on canvas, diptych: 68 x 160 inches. Courtesy Canada Gallery.
Katherine Bradford, Mutiny, 2020. Acrylic on canvas, diptych: 68 x 160 inches. Courtesy Canada Gallery.


couple no shirts, fear of shoes, tell it what it is
avatari: I too make spiral tracks on the sea floor
when K wants more courage she looks at the way
Rose draws a leg, the barn your studio, one leg
ghosted, one hip impinged and set for replace-
ment, Mera from Xebel, Jackson Hyde, & Arthur
Curry, constellated, half a melon holding up the shack
by which mammal shadows repose, the mutineer
may be saved by the buoyancy of citrus, the living room
corner my dusky shark deskolalia, the mutineer
doesn't want to be there for one more lunch, chilling
though, chilling like a villain I trained the 3-yr-old
to tell the babysitter poet, when I want more courage
I call courage's agent, no, I make myself pick a place
in page space to start, imagine if we'd had different
teachers, in paint in person, who said do life drawing
overwhelmed by red water surfaces, from a real horse?
your imagination reinvents red from memory every
time you hear the word red, reds added to seeing
have their say, they ran from the waves but stayed
in the painting, reflection digging the purple light
& spurning reflectivity, there's a large out of focus
reflectivity monster roaming the seaside, formally
and emotionally she felt the need for lifeguards
as plasma in tights I make occasional comments
on havoc, mutiny's inner edges in the plane, will
they prevent the sea worms from eating the casual
cop, if not simply tubular shapes alight in the four-
ground, are they bobbit worms or bristle worms
pyrosomes or sea squirts, because of the lack of hard
evidence the Mongolian death worm is widely accepted
as just being a legend, don't talk about money, don't
talk about being sick, don't talk about yourself, dude
looks facelessly relaxed for a mutiny, realism is a
variable, or is it a variability -- go ask Alex, making lists
predates all so-called generations, the way universality
ignores aliens, but I need to borrow money, getting sick
gets me out of things, & I can't assert myself anywhere
but here, yellow sinews playing with scale, inflation -
whatever, fax me when stag-flation looms in the doom-
light, too many drunk Santas fucking with my red, mother
magenta, what did the mutineer do to the clouds?

for and after Katherine Bradford


Anselm Berrigan

Anselm Berrigan is the poetry editor for the Brooklyn Rail. He lives and grew up in the somewhat lower part of Manhattan.


The Brooklyn Rail

FEB 2023

All Issues