“Untitled, 1985,” by Agnes Martin: A Misreading
Not nothing, though close to it.
Nor wood, exactly, though wood
Is evoked (but evocation is not
The point). The knots not knots.
Exactitude, not rectitude.
(That connection severed.) Nothingness
Measured & partitioned. Severed
First from the exacting hand,
Since act is not & also is the point.
The actor finds her mark & stands
On nonexistent boards, exactly
As the script requires. A severity
Scripted, yet also unscripted—eight
Boards, also not boards, as
Ink & watercolour find their— But wait:
She’s inked these wooden blinds
Shut. These blinds not blinds, instead
Are yet & also, but & though.
Jon Davis is the author of four full-length poetry collections--Improbable Creatures (Grid Books, 2017), Preliminary Report (Copper Canyon Press, 2010), Scrimmage of Appetite (University of Akron, 1995), and Dangerous Amusements (Ontario Review Press, 1987); five chapbooks; and Heteronymy: An Anthology (LaNana Creek Press, 2016), a limited-edition letterpress book in collaboration with the artist Jamison Chas Banks. Davis also co-translated Iraqi poet Naseer Hassan’s Dayplaces (Tebot Bach Press, 2017). He has received a Lannan Literary Award in Poetry, the Lavan Prize from the Academy of American Poets, the Off the Grid Poetry Prize, and two NEA Fellowships. He directs the MFA in Creative Writing at the Institute of American Indian Arts, where he has taught since 1990.
The Ekphrastic Review
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