Featured Writer: Poet Rachel Custer’s “Self-Portrait With God At The End Of The World”

/, FEATURED ARTISTS, FEATURED FINE ARTISTS, FEATURED WRITERS, FEATURED WRITERS, LITERARY ARTS, Lyric, Painting, Poetry, STUDIO ARTS/Featured Writer: Poet Rachel Custer’s “Self-Portrait With God At The End Of The World”

Rachel Custer

Self-Portrait With God
At The End Of The World

“Still Life No. 11” by Alejandro Rosemberg

Everyone I know hopes for a utopia: freedom
as lack of plastic and hard words. A giant hand

pins me to the wood & I am a girl again.
What beauty can be found in struggle –

the desperate dance of limbs, the pinned insectile
prayer. Desire is a god worth trying.

God is a desire worth nodding toward. What
anymore is worth wondering? Something swelling

a red corridor could be music, sacred
in a sacred space, could be the bloom

of a new bruise. How alone are we, here
near the end? Everyone I know hopes

for the same type of dystopia: those million-
dollar views. Statue heads bounding

down famous streets, chasms yawning open
beneath every kind of runner, the perfect

fairness of human fear. A giant hand saves me
from being crushed under the crowd,

and I am a girl again, caught in the trap
of God. Who never knew smallness

until he became a man. What a strange
twisting thing life is: I never knew a man

until I was made small, chasms yawning
open in the street of me. The watchful eyes

of a concrete god winking, winking past me,
the headless body marching into the sea.


About the writer:
Rachel Custer‘s first full-length collection, The Temple She Became, is available from Five Oaks Press. Other work has previously been published or is forthcoming in Rattle, OSU: The Journal, The American Journal of Poetry, B O D Y, [PANK], and The Antigonish Review. Rachel Custer is the O:JA&L “Featured Writer” for February 2019. On February 13, 2019, Rachel Custer officially became a recipient of a 2019 Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Image:Still Life No. 11” by Alejandro Rosemberg. Oil on canvas. 23.6 x 39.4 inches. 2009. By permission.Rosemberg is a hyperrealist painter. Rosemberg is from Buenos Aires where he paints and teaches classical techniques. He attended the National University of Codoba Art School where he received his degree on Fine Arts in Painting. He continued his study of classical painting based on the Italian Great Masters Tradition with Maestro Claudio Bogino. Alejandro Rosemberg is the O:JA&L “Featured Artist” for February 2019.