by Virginia Beards
Oranges, some green stuff,
Milk, bread and lentils.
Needs still surging.
At dusk—entre le chien et le loup—
Pink and blue turn purple,
A fox slides along the hedgerow.
I think about the Sublime—
Manfred on the Jungfrau,
Turner dazzled by the Thames,
Frederic Church swooning in the Andes,
And that Dublin girl with seaweed on her thigh.
A Romantic aesthetic trashed today, out of fashion,
Fuck flung around like grass seed,
Awesome attached to every third noun,
And Lucien Freud’s bloated bodies
leaping off canvas to strut the national stage.
Trending, a head-to-head race to vulgarity.
Locked-in, wine required, needs still surging.
Virginia Beards lives on in the oxymoronic Amish/fox-hunting farm country of southeast Pennsylvania after teaching British and European literature for 23 years at Penn State University. Her poetry book Exit Pursued by a Bear and Others was published by Oermead Press in 2014. She also has three short stories in Chester County Fiction (2014); poems in Scoundrel Time, and in W.O.E.—Writing on the Edge (U. of California, Davis), a critical edition of a 19th century British novel (Rutgers University Press), plus assorted “scholarly” articles. Other: an M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. from Bryn Mawr College. Recently she won a prize from Scoundrel Time for the best pandemic poems. Liz Baron is an artist and restaurateur who lives in Texas by way of New York City. She and her husband, Jim, founded, own and operate four Mexican-Southwestern restaurants. She got her Bachelor of Fine Art from Pratt Institute but stopped painting when restaurant work and family life consumed most of her time. She is grateful to the online art classes of Sketchbook Skool that helped her regain the joy of a regular art practice.