Featured Writer: Poet Devon Balwit’s “Foolish (I)”

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Devon Balwit

Foolish (I)

            (John 3:4)

“Wooden Figure” by Emil Nolde

Called and appalled, you’d give anything
not to resonate like a bell, to dampen
the clanging good news—no thank you!—
to reinforce the doors protecting
your ironical, slap-dash contraption—but
in it streams through the window, light
piercing the blinds, a pillow over the eyes
unable to smother it. Even while you’re pissing,
yearning gains the upper hand. Pride
stomps its foot: You ignoramus! You fool!
How will you hold your head up?
How can an old man be born again? asks
Nicodemus. Like this, you shudder, like this.

 

About the writer:
Devon Balwit‘s most recent collection is titled A Brief Way to Identify a Body (Ursus Americanus Press). Her individual poems can be found or are upcoming in Jet Fuel, The Cincinnati Review, Tampa Review, Rattle, Apt (long-form issue), Grist, and Oxidant Engine among others. Devon Balwit is the O:JA&L “Featured Writer” for June 2019.

Image: “Wooden Figure” by Emil Nolde (1867-1956). Oil on canvas. 60 x 38 cm. 1912. Public domain.