Home > Contributors > Holly Roberts > Jeff Pearson, "Red is Strong, Blue is True"
 

Jeff Pearson


Red is Strong, Blue is True

 

A portrait like love; like silhouettes
of a crush at 13 nourishing a
pillow of sweat, nervous systems expose
themselves.
                        This is lag.
A screen of a scan of a scan of a
degree of separation (like love) escapes
photo—
Realism knelt in front of a web page
as if my computer will be the Year Walk
I need for grief
            forming a skeleton of a tree
of a lover of a lover made
of a tree of each morning tears fall
from stoma until winter has colds
in grief
in this garb of belief

 

                       paper atrophies.  Replaced, decrepitate:
If the healer never gets better
If sucking venom is eating
If licking the blood from a cut try to bring
            it back into the veins.

All Responses:

Respond to a Prompt:

Submit your response to our current prompt(s). See our Submissions Guidelines page for details.


Bio: Jeff Pearson has been published by Black Rock & Sage, Otis Nebula, a capella zoo, Heavy Feather Review, Shampoo, Salt Front, and Moon City Review. His first chapbook, Sick Bed was published by Small Text Dreams Press.

Process: While responding to Holly’s work, I immediately realized that some of the portraits I stared at were like Navajo sand paintings.

I had been working on a project following two paintings my mom had gifted to me, which were given to her by some of her very dear Navajo sisters while living on the Shiprock reservation 40 years ago.  I discovered that sand paintings were enacted for treating ailments, and part of the process of recovery was to erase the colorful dye and pollen from the entrance of a house once the shaman had treated the patient.  These portraits were frozen and might have been cut from the ground.  Thus, never erased.  When my niece had taken these same paintings to show and tell a couple of years ago, the class raised their hands to guess which of the two stick-like figures was a woman and which was a man. 

The sacred had become an artifact to examine as soon as it had left the ground.  I sought to identify my own artifacts in the still, stuck collages of Holly’s art, and many different yearnings and mirroring of my own pining away at digital portraits of my past.

All Responses:

Respond to a Prompt:

Submit your response to our current prompt(s). See our Submissions Guidelines page for details.


Bio: Jeff Pearson has been published by Black Rock & Sage, Otis Nebula, a capella zoo, Heavy Feather Review, Shampoo, Salt Front, and Moon City Review. His first chapbook, Sick Bed was published by Small Text Dreams Press.

Process: While responding to Holly’s work, I immediately realized that some of the portraits I stared at were like Navajo sand paintings.

I had been working on a project following two paintings my mom had gifted to me, which were given to her by some of her very dear Navajo sisters while living on the Shiprock reservation 40 years ago.  I discovered that sand paintings were enacted for treating ailments, and part of the process of recovery was to erase the colorful dye and pollen from the entrance of a house once the shaman had treated the patient.  These portraits were frozen and might have been cut from the ground.  Thus, never erased.  When my niece had taken these same paintings to show and tell a couple of years ago, the class raised their hands to guess which of the two stick-like figures was a woman and which was a man. 

The sacred had become an artifact to examine as soon as it had left the ground.  I sought to identify my own artifacts in the still, stuck collages of Holly’s art, and many different yearnings and mirroring of my own pining away at digital portraits of my past.