The Poet on The Creation of our Species


Marcus Wicker

Marcus Wicker, American poet and author of two books of poetry:  Maybe The Saddest Thing, 2012, and Silencer, 2017.


The Way We Were Made, 2012

But you made every

delicate, elegant wrist



A member of one of two families expert in weaving textile in the tradition called ‘potola’  (double silk ikat) in which threads are dyed to produce a pattern which emerges only when the weaving is complete.  Patan, Gujerat, India, 2008.


&  glistening ankleDSC03463




But you made them


in braided rope



Braided and beaded rope hanging for sale in an arcade leading to the temple of Lord Krishna on Bet Dworka, an island off the coast of Gujerat, India, 2010.


& dime store gold.

But you made every

necklace clasp.

But you made them

caress the nape


The Nape of Misia (Natanson, nee Godebska), 1872-1950, born St. Petersburg, died Paris), 1897-99, oil on canvas.  Edouard Vuillard, 1868-1940, French. Privately owned.




Madame Thadee Natanson (Misia Godebska, 1872-1950) at the Theater, 1895, oil on cardboard. Henri de Toulouse Lautrec, 1864-1901, French.  Metropolitan Museum, NY


like an errant wind

after a shower.



Purple Wind, oil on linen, 1995.  Alex Katz, born 1927, American.  Metropolitan Museum, New York


But you made every 

eyelash erotic.



closeup of Portrait of Dora Maar, 1936, gelatin screen print.  Man Ray, 1890-1976, American.  On display at the Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, 2016.



Superimposed Heads, 1938, oil on wood.  Francis Picabia, 1879-1953, French. Private collection exhibited in an exhibition about Picabia at MOMA, New York in the winter of 2016/2017



single strand of hair soft.



Woman Brushing Her Hair, oil on canvas.  Wladyslaw Slewinksi, 1855-1918, Polish.  I do not recall where I saw this painting or who owns it.


But you made them

from dust & bone.

Made every glorious

singing thigh.




Reclining Nude and detail, 1928, oil on canvas.  Suzanne Valadon, 1865-1938, French. Robert Lehman Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY


button nose.



A young boy the first time he saw an African.  We met in a temple dedicated to Bhadra Kali near the bank of the Sabarmati River, west Ahmedabad, Gujerat, 2010.


But you made them

with holes—

wide open

to the faintest hints

of salt

in a sea breeze,





Wave and detail, 1885, oil on canvas.  Alexander Harrison, 1853-1930, American, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, Philadelphia



in the sweaty mouth

of a navel,



Turtle Umbilical Amulet, c.1880, hide, glass, bead, turtle bone, brass bead and copper bell.  Thought to be Lakota (Sioux), north or south Dakota. 

This holds the umbilical cord of a female child and was worn as symbol of protection, health and strength.

Museum of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.




in the blood, sweet



Easter Sunday in Harlem, 1947, gelatin silver print.  Henri Cartier Bresson, 1908-2004.  On exhibit at the Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia in 2016.



The Powdered Woman and detail, 1922, oil on cardboard.   Adolfo Best Maugard, 1891-1964, Mexican. Lance Aaron and Family.

  Exhibited at the Philadelphia Art Museum 2016/2017 in an exhibition about the artists of the Mexican Revolution


in every wrong way.


Fallen Angel and detail, 1992, oil on panel.  Lisa Bartolozzi, born 1961, oil on panel.  Delaware Museum of Art, Wilmington


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