Housing the Artist
reflections on the Clyfford Still Museum
Outside, through tinted glass, crows turn
inward in January’s trees. How the sky,
arranged in twilight’s compendium, spreads
its mystery: smoke through the streets.
The possibility of eternal winter twists
her black hand inside. I know the paintings
these rooms will house. I’ve seen them
before—blooms of ink in a watery self.
Someone’s opened the envelope.
They’ll consume walls the architect
adores, boxes on boxes, shimmering
panels of bees, delivering their stings.
Kara Penn is the founder and principal consultant of Mission Spark, working alongside nonprofits, government, and philanthropic foundations to further the missions and social impact of their programs. Kara is the recipient of several U.S.-based fellowships and holds graduate degrees from the University of Chicago and MIT. She co-authored the book Fail Better, which was published by Harvard Business Review Press in 2014 and was selected as one of the best business books of the year by Business Digest. She’s participated as a 30|30 Poet for Tupelo Press, completing 30 poems in 30 days. Her poetry has been published in several journals including Studies in Arts and Humanities (SAH), The Pickled Body, Ekphrasis, Rockhurst Review, and the Meadowlands Review. Kara lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband, four young daughters, and two dogs.
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