A Journal of Poetry and Kindred Prose

Wendy Drexler’s

poetry credits include Barrow Street, Cider Press Review, Mid-American Review, Verse Daily, and Nimrod (semifinalist, 2006 Nimrod/Hardman Pablo Neruda Prize).

She is a poetry editor for Sanctuary, the magazine of the Massachusetts Audubon Society.

Her full-length collection, Western Motel, was published in April 2012 by WordTech Communications/Turning Point.

Visit her website.

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Still Life with Glasses and Tobacco —William Claesz, 1633

Tethered to the halter of the real are walnuts
and their splintered shells, a whorled lemon,

cut to carnal pith and peel, the silver compote
tipped sideways on the table, two long-stemmed

smoking pipes, just snuffed, and three olives
shining in a silver bowl, also shining, everything

basted in glaze, and in the goblet’s curve,
Claesz has painted himself as a watery shadow,

arm raised to the easel, the mullions of his
studio window, blurred trees beyond, escaping

into the rake of light—a pas de deux with death,
whose momentum rumbles under this abundance,

this decay—arranged and held at bay with lead,
linseed, ground brown umber—rot on the lemon,

a swale of stains—nothing more real than.
Artifice, this art.