"How to Age in Place" and "Venus At Her Mirror" by Jeanette Beebe
Published in July | Dialogist + Avatar Review
She recorded an .mp3 of her reading "How to Age in Place" for Dialogist, which begins:
The old woman I’ll become someday
is already aging in my ear.
She says the future is where
I’ll move through every room,
answering as if I know
who I’m talking to.
"Venus at Her Mirror" is an ekphrastic poem inspired by Velazquez's Rokeby Venus. The painting was brutally slashed by suffragette Mary Richardson in the National Gallery in London (and has since been restored). Here's an excerpt:
When he paints, he creates whatever he sees
that isn’t her body, each stroke of the brush
slow, an outline of her shape, shading deeper.
He places her in position. He tells her to look
natural. Art is duplication. But he can’t capture
movement — only color, depth, light, shadow,
and even the blankness that grows within her,
that even we can see in the mirror, as she sits
turned, propped up as if she were weightless,
paler than the sheet she’s wrapped in, still life.