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The Elephants

Wing / Body / Wing

Jake Kennedy

Published February 5, 2018


JAKE KENNEDY is the author of four collections of poetry and lives in Kelowna, British Columbia.

The bird that meets itself in the window too rapidly:

so serious are the convergences that the artist must

break her neck for us. The writer never knows how to

address the reader when it should be the easiest thing.

In the artist there’s a wanting to live but only as that

living is tied to her art; she doesn’t care how meager

the thread—because it’s as if, for her, only art

banishes the misery. With their shadows stretching

out across the grass the people appear to be plinths

for Giacometti sculptures; the narrator says, “nothing

is more beautiful than Paris, except the memory of

Paris” and so the people and the people-shadows are

also time-comets moving backward into lost years. If

you switch on the table-fan then the schooner in the

painting will—with these new gusts—leave the scene.

Fisherman sitting on a rock and smoking a pipe

(about 1835), self-representation. Portrait of the artist

with a cane possibly drawn by Oei, the artist’s daughter...