Monday, September 30, 2019

Horace Pippin, Holy Mountain IV by Michael Begnal

Horace Pippin, Holy Mountain IV (unfinished, 1946)


The mountain in two shades
of grey, looming, its rim cracked
volcanitectonically against
a sky of de-emphasized
at its foot,
a strip of desert
tan and then the
foreground stratum:
the arid ground of
denuded green
and the ghosts of three animals—
lion  /  mountain lion  /  wolf  /
hollow revenant outlines,

the tree black, bare,
its perspective
spectrically outsized,
dangles no noose,
only prophecy

Michael Begnal is the author of Future Blues (Salmon Poetry, 2012) and Ancestor Worship (Salmon Poetry, 2007), as well as the chapbook The Muddy Banks (Ghost City Press, 2016). His work has appeared in journals and anthologies such as Notre Dame Review, Poetry Ireland Review, Empty Mirror, Scoundrel Time, and Thinking Continental: Writing the Planet One Place at a Time (University of Nebraska Press, 2017). He can be found online at and on Twitter @Michael_Begnal.

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