Postcard to Mondrian's Bleu, Blanc et Jaune at the Denver Art Museum, BY NICKY BEER
You’re not on view right now, and neither am I—
a shadow on a porch, a blur behind fences.
Is it that I feel the lack of others looking,
or was the open world the place where I could look
at myself newly? Yes, there were times
when I felt hard-pinned to my own stark shape,
a glare of obvious yellow. Unable to choose
the time and place of my exhibition,
hung out to perform some stale state of being.
And yet. Those times when I draped
the whole sidewalk behind my shoulders,
was a sunlight refractor. Existed for myself
amidst the city’s bodies careening about,
a straight line not to be fucked with.
Now evasion. Now the swerve, the cringe,
the shudder at so many bare faces.
The eyelash invisibly trapped under decades
of lacquer. The frame contracting in the dark.
Nicky Beer is a bi/queer writer and the author of The Octopus Game (Carnegie Mellon, 2015) and The Diminishing House (Carnegie Mellon, 2010), both winners of the Colorado Book Award for Poetry. Her awards include a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Ruth Lilly Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, a MacDowell Colony Fellowship, a fellowship and a scholarship from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, a Mary Wood Fellowship from Washington College, a Discovery/The Nation Award, and a Campbell Corner Prize. Her poems have been published in Best American Poetry, Poetry, The Nation, The New Yorker, The Southern Review, Kenyon Review, and elsewhere. She is an associate professor at the University of Colorado Denver, where she co-edits the journal Copper Nickel.