In Memory the Irises at Saint Paul-de-Mausole Bloom Everywhere                              —Peter Marcus

The mind goes elsewhere gladly in the northern Vermont summer,
into new flowerings along dirt paths and roads, into varied meadows
and plotted human gardens. It was the late June irises that led me

back to Van Gogh inside the asylum at St. Remy. To admit madness
then commit oneself is a rare genre of heroics. Art historians presume
the dense outlines of petals and leaves are indebted to the Japanese

woodcut. Psychiatrists retrospectively agree: epileptic mania inscribed
in slashes to the self. He'd gleaned from reading scripture how time
will deface us, how the crows descending at sundown will swarm

the brittle fields. Gauguin on the other side of the earth, at ease amidst
the nubile Tahitians, while Vincent's gaze stays fixed on the madhouse gardens,
sensing the lusts of irises, whose velvet violet throats sing daylight.


Peter Marcus

His first book Dark Square was published by Pleasure Boat Studio: A Literary Press (2012). His poems have appeared in AGNI, The Antioch Review, Boulevard, Crab Orchard Review, Iowa Review, Nimrod, Notre Dame Review, Poetry, Ploughshares, RATTLE, The Southern Review Spillway, UPSTREET, Witness and others. He has been a recipient of a State of Connecticut Arts Grant and residency fellowships at Vermont Studio Center, Marble House Project and Norton Island. He is the academic program coordinator at Elms College Accelerated Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology Programs at Holyoke Community and Mount Wachusetts Community Colleges.   

ISSN 2472-338X
© 2016