A L I C I A H O F F M A N | Monsoon 2014
Study in Blue
The painting was all blue – blue
blocks of contortion, arms and legs
perhaps, but only if one stepped
back from the continental plate
of canvas. “Let’s make the great escape,”
you said, as if this was hilarious,
the constant backtracking from the group.
This blue. In the bottle it bled into oil.
In the sky it mirrored the lake.
Or is it the other way around?
What is it that makes blue, blue –
Something about pigments, particle rays
the speed of sunlight and sadness
and voices that make no sound.
It’s all a paradox, love. Something
we’re not meant to understand.
How blue can be beautiful and
blue can be the hole in the ground.
And I don’t have it in me anymore
to explain. I have a book on the shelf
that answers these questions – what
makes one thing what. But what
we’ll never understand is the why.
That part is always left out, so
we are always left at the museum,
and the group has gone on to tour
the al-frescos and the ancient abattoirs
and we are still standing in a sea of blue.
Can you believe it? We make it a joke –
Close your eyes for two seconds
and open them up – One. Two.
Find something blue. Find something
grounding in this cold spinning room.
Originally from Pennsylvania, Alicia Hoffman now lives, writes and teaches in Rochester, New York. Author of "Like Stardust in the Peat Moss" (Aldrich Press, 2013), her poems have appeared recently in Tar River Poetry, Redactions, SOFTBLOW, Camroc Press Review, A-Minor Magazine and elsewhere. Twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize, she is currently completing an MFA in Poetry at the Rainier Writing Workshop in Tacoma, Washington.