The hand has dropped the fruit and it’s painted where it falls

Diane Seuss

or such is the theater of painting for every painting is a performance some complete with curtains pulled away for the spectator to see the fruit as if casually dropped and painted where it falls or the hare strung up or the turkey hanged from one gnarly foot as if the painter had no design on reality but only painted it haphazardly an improvisation of objects in space but actually a performance of haphazardness as if to say art is not artifice it meets you where you shrug off your robe or pile your strawberries in a basket with no eye for composition but even the haphazard is arranged by the eye who was it who wrote a derangement of arrangements 

thus Williams’s so much depends upon the red wheel barrow glazed with rain water beside the white chickens is anything but an accidental tableau viewed for instance through a window as he tended a dying woman in her bed one hears the rhymes of glazed and rain and barrow of wheel and water and white of depends and chickens and considers how briefly water glazes a surface before it must evaporate and leave us behind and how quickly chickens flap their filthy wings and scatter how wheel is separated from barrow rain from water white from chickens so that all constituent parts of what appear to be simple solid randomly arranged objects have been factored down to their prime numbers how nothing is casual nothing is uncomposed whether a curtain is drawn away from the deathbed window or not 

Diane Seuss’s most recent collection, Four-Legged Girl, was published in October 2015 by Graywolf Press. Her second book, Wolf Lake, White Gown Blown Open, won the Juniper Prize and was published by the University of Massachusetts Press in 2010. A poem that originally appeared in Blackbirdreceived a 2013 Pushcart Prize, and her poem “Free Beer,” originally published in the Missouri Review, appeared in The Best American Poetry 2014. Seuss is Writer-in-Residence at Kalamazoo College in Michigan.