Cory Hutchinson- Reuss
Based on an icon by Andrei Rublev
Click on the house
At first, the sound of a tent flapping, your clothes billowing, the hard wind snaps. Tree. Exposed mountain face. Three figures in the distance, almost transparent. As in a dream, people appear in translation. As in a dream, you know yourself as the lost fragment of a story, wandering. The strangers remove their sandals. You mimic their motions; your muscles complete a circuit. At last, you have something to offer. Wine. A shaded table. When one of you speaks, you hear traces of a chorus.
Click on the left angel
Song beyond sex, gold and blue. Wild voice in the guise of others. Time-lapse through faces with infinite variations, through nebulae, through golden cake, flame, elemental fountains, compression into one point. You watch a single, animated line bend back on itself to make a circle. It pulses, seems to breathe like a sleeping computer.
Click on the tree
A koan is an oak, a live one, a heart pierced with three arrows, radiating heat and shadow. You climb its gnarled branches. Lightning has shot through, electrified the rings. An oak holds it, houses many forms as it grows around its wounds, throws its branches downward like questions, like devotions. Praise the trace of heat, elemental searing and balm, the great doubt, the impossible bundle and sprawl of nerves across a system.
On the center angel
She has electric blue nails and stands in the center of a labyrinth, arms at her side, palms out, face tilted to sun. She invites you to remove your shoes. Aren’t these tall trees like heaven? She has returned home, has come here, like you, to walk the path. Passing by so close you could touch her hand and say don’t leave me, so close she could become a pattern in your thinking. She walks away, straw fedora the last of her to disappear. You remain in the center, palms open, flooded with elegy, with glitches and sparks on a dark screen.
On the mountain
Streams of people, walking. They flicker in and out of vision. Too much light, too much heat, too much air. They flash in ragged exposure, in serrated day, their clothes fading. All those feet. You can’t discern what they’re saying, but it seems they’re whispering into the mountain. They disappear in threes. Behind you, the sound of knocking on the door.
On the right angel
They hold a kettle of leafy greens, they make an infusion of their presence. Medicinal root and advocate. In their gaze you are tripled: you, the metals, everything in the room is troubled into life, lit and bending like a fiberoptic bloom, and inside, you flow and capsize, find yourself again upon again a blue wake. They offer you a full cup to drink, and at the bottom is a mirror. At the bottom is another language you might know.
Cory Hutchinson-Reuss is a poet whose recent work can be found in Brink, Slice, Zone 3, the Offing, Josephine Quarterly, Timber, and the Missouri Review online. Originally from Arkansas, she currently lives and writes in Iowa City and reads poetry for The Adroit Journal.
Cory's Book Recommendations
Contraband of Hoopoe by Ewa Chrusciel
Alphabet by Inger Christensen (translated by Susanna Nied)
Lean Against This Late Hour by Garous Abdolmalekian
(translated by Ahmad Nadalizadeh & Idra Novey)
Shifting the Silence by Etel Adnan
Killing Plato by Chantal Maillard (translated by Yvette Siegert)