Two poems from Jessica Savitz’s Television in the Mountains
followed by a note on the author
Bequadro Disrobes an Accidental
BEQUADRO DISROBES AN ACCIDENTAL & so ravishing & refined in its return to naturalness, as with this naked athlete in a simple stagelight of sun: the merest of sporting costume is the sheer sweat across the training ground of body; as such, with a buoyant innocence, the formal & naked body… a delight—within sheets of bound music: the natural, we arrive here when we have taken it as a matter of course: her finger will lift to strike the black key—yet—at the last second, she will not; for the natural mark assures the performer she is not to sound the very note she’s primed us to expect.
A sudden happy novice, hey, of forest hymns, & a natural romance when the song merrily dispenses with the emphatic sharp or flat that had reigned all along as if supreme: pluck the crown from a head; hers seethes with its own crown now, a life-song once so heavy-laden with ornamentation of royal brooch of sharp or flat is rendered here natural, bequadro, she who once trained at Juilliard, now she is more rarefied hippy pinching upon her homespun violin, pizzicato to pluck berries, a purity of jam & mud beneath her fingernails, she who once combed sound so chastely with her bowstrings plucked from the rump of fountaining horsetail, her hairbraid fastened taut atop her head; at present she shook from her hair a cinder of her fiery mind, o ye erudite hippy, falls crosswise to the staff in an odor of a new & natural melody burning-made.
Television Medicines Kin to Chemistry Cabinet of TV …
TELEVISION MEDICINES KIN TO CHEMISTRY CABINET OF TV… Well. Such a doctor makes the tireless house call… In truth, in a bored or rapt consideration of such a view of colorful tincture of storyline & emotional temper tantrums or ardor or serene or erotic view in a hurry-scurry lambent tempest of color in rare tubes lined up as if in the chemistry set, (or curatorial magic, the thin wild-elbowed creature restrained in such a museum)—television, a window to this crude life—sudden change of station—a life of gossamery—it’s top-shelf, a world-class, expensive liquor in cut crystal that magically replenishes itself, television, pours itself to us with abandon, fills our glass before we even ask, with a knowing, good manners; with panache, it senses our great thirst & like a mother spills abundantly of itself into our glass & not only a demonstrable magic, not only the excitement of the flaming or smoking experiment; its greater aim is to cure ills.
Verily, Edith, it occurs to me this day that the television is a comely & dappled wealth of medicines, a humble softspun bandage packed alongside tools of silver-arrowed tinctures swung here from the proud handle of this doctor’s bag; voila, it’s a house call, the aspirins & plasmas, & even plasma tvs, are prescribed, directly to the lady of the house in the parlor, on the gorgeous crush of velvet sofa, directly positioned to take in this treatment of television. Yes, Bernard, like a doctor who makes house calls, the television in the parlor to administer joy & restoration to our lady…
& how like an enchanting spill of mercury, the magic of the story neatly played across the sterilized glass of the parlor television, a neat glass slide, to say if her fever is cause for concern, whether its spike or break might lead to a renewal of health, a flush in her cheeks evident even upon a screen of silver. Or how like a goldrush of color is invented in those television chemistry tubes—& a late goldrush of 1970s westerns, & the way watching television is like panning for gold. Having cut my teeth, so to speak, on PBS cooking shows, well-suited I am now for the royals, it feels so good to be here right now, fever like a cure. Oh the court composers who gather to swell the sound just for me, queen of the parlor, oh doctor, doctor, doctor of story, heal me, heal me.
A graduate of Kenyon College and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Jessica Savitz was the inaugural winner of the Madeleine P. Plonsker Emerging Writer’s Residency Prize, and Lake Forest College Press published her first book of poems Hunting is Painting. Several of her poems have appeared in Mrs. Maybe, a Journal of Skeptical Occultism, and Sun Sun Sun published her chapbook Fire is the Statue with the Young Face. Savitz has taught poetry writing at the University of Chicago as part of the visiting faculty, and has led community writing workshops for the Chicago Public Library system through the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts. She happily resides in Woodstock, IL with her favorite poets–her husband, Michael Savitz, and their two daughters, Aurelia and Eugenia Savitz.