Poems by J.J. Blickstein

1924 Pleasure
possible bed fanatic clean
resigned temple in violent colors
try to remember the ritual
the unused linen shaved from wood
the sacrifice in humanity
when sex is another condition
tight quarters in sequel of order
violence that leaves no stain in the angel or
in the compact measures of civilians at war
to reconcile the stitches
in that vision
seduction by odor and the shape of her breast
she is strong
tobacco and sweet luxury forming her thigh
small rooms and roses contain her well
makes the skin breathe louder
in brown in blue
the flaws and oversized nostrils leave us lovely we
with my gold crown and enormous crayons
my eyes come larger kinder rounder than her ass
my delight in the shadows where observed
she rests

Interlude 1933 stainless steel skyline in the black backdrop
of the imagination trespassed into a girl with a yellow cat

Exile 1937
The parade in soft glass with waltz and smothered brass
folds meticulous in the armband of the ballroom
and Pamphleteer all these toys and crimes
stolen from the imagination in red and black
uncloak the precision of the premonition
in the burning wheel

exiled degenerate from what is most private in the
from what was a language of freedom in the human dream
to the smokestacks of our evolution
raped in the real
we must be careful in our thoughts they become
and we defiled and ineffectual cannot
move in our portraits and oils
as reality conquers our imagination and we become a dream in rooms
left to reinvent our escape

Self Portrait with Horn 1938
Max Beckmann and Quappi in Blue 1941

gold thread kiss the scissors together in the miniature
lifestyle the exile and hats forever in other rooms
each room a portrait with demonic flowers beneath
the walls we in suits dressed for dinner in rooms
we will never leave banished in the garden

fall back to texture as its own end the human relationship
no compromise on form
man woman woman together repelled and attracted
by the instruments and decor of our sex
flesh and clothing so much time to be imagined in the garden
so much time with desire
and the woman with the mandolin between her legs like a swan
on a yellow blanket and red sofa 1950
large warm brunette with perfect tits conquering the distraction
of the night music and bullets of the mother tongue
she welcomes him into her false sleep
he welcomes us to the greater mystery participation
where the neck of the instrument alert gazes
and memorizes lips tongue and the rhythm of breast
before departing with her sound

The last portrait of self in blue jacket
without hat speaks perfectly anonymous
and indulges elegant with the exiled self
in the neon light of "American Painting Today"

Goodnight in Brooklyn through the park and stainless steel skyline
back to the bed and walls exhaling forever into
the tattooed crown and the reality
of the undreamed imagination


J.J. Blickstein is a native New Yorker, poet/visual artist & the editor of Hunger Magazine and Press. He lives with Jen, a biologist/ herbalist & her two children, as kind-hearted predators next to the river. His works have most recently appeared or are forthcoming in Milk, 5-Trope, The Louisiana Review, Sundog: A Southwestern Literary Review, Heavenbone, The Temple, Pitchfork, Rattle, Long Shot, Fish Drum, Shampoo, Hart: A Tome for the Arts, Chronogram. And in the anthologies The Subterraneans (Poet's Gallery Press, 1998), American Diaepora: Poetry of Displacement (University of Iowa Press, 2001), Dyed-in-the-wool (Wet Paint Publishing, 2001), Shamanic Warriors, Now Poets (R&R Publishing, Scotland, 2001), Vespers: Religion & Spirituality in the 21st Century (Syracuse University Press, 2002).