A new poem by alumnus Jeremy Bass (poetry, ’10) appears in Tupelo Quarterly:
Six Studies of Francis Bacon
My grandfather was a butcher. In death, my mother took on the color and countenance of meat. One week earlier I’d studied these paintings, trying to decipher screams from the kill on its hooks. I did not want to look is why I looked. Then I wished I’d turned away.
Around him bones are scattered in a railing. Staircases run through the sections of meat. If the room lifted into light, her bed was a sunken confluence of red. The way her face contained its own absence. And still I could not understand how a man could disappear into his umbrella, become nothing inside his own clothes.
Distorted, of themselves and other, I wrote. Humans absolved into clay. As now her face appears in the painting: distorted of themselves, distorted other— While behind her, letters overwritten: an unseen language, muttering.
Continue reading online at Tupelo Quarterly.