Featured Artist Deborah Norton, a pairing with Beth Gordon’s poem”Crown: In Which I Compare My Parent’s Mortality to French Toast”

/, FEATURED ARTISTS, FEATURED FINE ARTISTS, LITERARY ARTS, Lyric, Mixed Media, Painting, Poetry, STUDIO ARTS/Featured Artist Deborah Norton, a pairing with Beth Gordon’s poem”Crown: In Which I Compare My Parent’s Mortality to French Toast”

Beth Gordon

Crown: In Which I Compare
My Parent’s Mortality
to French Toast

“The King” by Deborah Norton

My parents will flame and rise in Asheville
on the hard day they emerge from brambles
to a sparrow-ed sky, discarding their shoes
with no more stairs to climb, they will follow
the orange groan of monarch butterflies.
I tell you I am jealous of their path,
and you mix the vodka, the juniper,
the ice, you drop an empty goldfish bowl,
glass evaporating into star-shine,
you tell me you will offer me French toast
sprinkled with brown sugar like my mother
made so I will not shatter by her grave.

They will bathe in her soul while I am left
behind, cleaning lightning scars from the dirt.

—————

Cleaning lightning scars from dirt, the sunlight
reveals spiders and my secret desire
to murder, this is why I follow you
to clouds, to Eureka Springs, to the depths
of the Mississippi Bay, to places
where my lost father can no longer climb,
his miraculous brain bruised, my mother
removing every treacherous stair.
This hard town of St. Louis where children
drown, where Samson-haired fathers weep without
consolation, breathing gold rice paddies,
songless, and you bring me porcelain plates.

They will bathe in her soul while I am left
behind, searching for the delta crossroad.

—————

Searching for delta intersections, fields
of monarch butterflies, spider graveyards,
the depths of my murderous intentions,
you tell me to come home, to fill my plate,
to leave my shoes at the door, oh darling,
to dance to trolley car bells, to bury
the ashes of my beloved dead, stir
the juniper, let the lillet rise, fire
and rain occupying my dreams, equal
measures of my favorite fix. I know
the finite crossroad of my life with theirs
will end in resurrected explosion.

Bathing in her soul, when they leave Asheville,
my star-song parents will flame, they will rise.

 

About the writer:
Beth Gordon received her MFA from American University a long time ago and was not heard from again until 2017 when her poems began to appear in numerous journals including Into the Void, Outlook Springs, Drunk Monkeys, Verity La and After Happy Hour Review. Her poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. She is also Poetry Editor of Gone Lawn.

Image: “The King” from The Individual series by Deborah Norton. Oil and mixed media on Masonite. 24 x 24 inches. Norton is best known for her layered mixed media oil paintings. Inspired by expressionism including the “combines” of Rauschenberg and the raw figurative paintings of Schiele, Norton experiments with translucent paint layers, color and mixed media to expose life and its’ always changing expression. Deborah Norton is O:JA&L’s “Featured Artist” for March 2019.