Rick Barot in Poetry

Warren Wilson faculty member Rick Barot’s new poem “The Wooden Overcoat” appears in the April 2012 issue of Poetry

The Wooden Overcoat

By Rick Barot

It turns out there’s a difference between a detail

and an image. If the dandelion on the sidewalk is

mere detail, the dandelion inked on a friend’s bicep

is an image because it moves when her body does,

even when a shirt covers the little thorny black sun

on a thin stalk. The same way that the bar code

on the back of another friend’s neck is just a detail,

until you hear that the row of numbers underneath

are the numbers his grandfather got on his arm

in a camp in Poland. Then it’s an image, something

activated in the reader’s senses beyond mere fact.

I know the difference doesn’t matter, except in poetry,  ….[Keep Reading]…

Rick is the author of the poetry collections Want (2008) and The Darker Fall (2002).