Andrea Potos – Three Poems

Manet’s brushstroke

Raised off the canvas surface
as if swirled by the hand of some
beneficient storm–

you could almost step inside, be held
in the center of whorled
petals and light–the closest

you will ever come to hearing
the beating heart of the rose.

Of the dream

Now it is not the details
that matter, suctioned up
by wakefulness as they are–

don’t bother striving
to retrieve what is dissolved,
only what is left–this subtle

spaciousness and lift inhabiting your heart–
this nearly secret sense
of something marvelous
about to happen.

For the magazine who loved and published
my poem, asked for more and then kept
rejecting them all

I gaze back at that one poem now
as if it carried some mystical lure
piercing the veils of your editors’ minds
to land on its perfect page;

or maybe it was more like the singular sperm
that found the break in the body’s gate
to escape the crowd and become one with the egg,
eventually finding its place
as a person, as a poem in this world.


Author’s Statement on Beauty

Beauty encompasses presence and also hope.  My poems here attempt to convey that moment of standing in awed stillness before a Manet painting– following the visibly textured brushstrokes, flowing with the curves of the flower petals; and also those moments of waking just after an affecting dream.  Though the images and the story of the dream have  already dissolved away, you are left with a feeling, a sense of what I like to call “vergefulness”–when the unknown is on its way to you. Though you can’t pinpoint what exactly is coming, something within you knows, just knows, it is good.  Surely beauty has a hand in that.


Andrea Potos is the author of nine collections of poems, most recently Mothershell (Kelsay Books), A Stone to Carry Home (Salmon Poetry) and Arrows of Light (Iris Press).