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Poetry: Occult Autumnal by Lisa Russ Spaar

Illustration by Chica Osaka
Left: Osakaruta Mu Chika Osaka, Acrylic, color pencil on cotton cloth and panel, 8.9 × 6.2 inches, 2015. Right: We Left Behind, and This Is the World. I Wish to Continue This World. Chika Osaka, Lithography, 22.4 × 22.4 inches, 2016. Images courtesy of Micheko Galerie.

Occult Autumnal
by Lisa Russ Spaar

From what bleat of the marching band’s castrato section
concussing the distant stadium, tonight’s horizon,

did it rise & pelt, bat-like, loopily blind yet radar-rending
my heart, old fruit that still so valiantly suspends—

like the Hanging Man at a garish Tarot reading—
in the ribs’ wet hamper, now packed with leaves?

Not the tea kind, all smudge of portent & bergamot.
No. Evening riffles the deck, lays out against sky’s grotto

the Queen of Flavored Vodkas. Also known at evening
as Lorraine of the Industrial Sunset. That’s my Jersey talking.

With what haste, then, did the Prince of Volcanic Foliage
run off! As though offended. But already I feel him aging,

two towns off, burning down another bridge.
Loneliness is a sourceless sorcery, a mapless acreage.

About the poet
Lisa Russ Spaar is the author of five books of poetry, most recently, “Orexia” (Persea Books 2017). Her honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Rona Jaffe Award. She is a Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Virginia.

About the artist
Chika Osaka views her art as a declaration of love to the ordinary people who face the banality of everyday life with dignity. She strives to create work that is rich in detail and full of humor in order to pull viewers into the picture, regardless of cultural background and nationality.