Work in Progress

By Lance Larsen

Featured Art: “Holy Family with Saint John the Baptist” Perino del Vaga

Use what’s handy color pencil shavings
dirt maybe bug parts cat hair also saliva

lots of it no paint or collage nothing
modern just a smudgy finger on textured

paper grind the colors in or swoosh
them around like a muskrat in mud

no pattern at first till wet scratches
turn chance into sky fear into a face

yours and not yours call this turmoil time
and materials call this a case of falling

feelingly if stuck have your beloved spit
on the dry parts pop failures in the oven

let divinity simmer let the making
unmake you every doubt an inky wing


Lance Larsen, former poet laureate of Utah, has published five poetry collections, most recently What the Body Knows (Tampa, 2018). He has received a number of awards, including a Pushcart Prize and an NEA fellowship. His essays have made the Notables list in Best American Essays six times. He teaches at BYU.

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