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Tom Montag

Tom Montag’s books of poetry include: Making Hay & Other Poems; Middle Ground; The Big Book of Ben Zen; In This Place: Selected Poems 1982-2013; This Wrecked World; The Miles No One Wants; Imagination’s Place; Love Poems; and Seventy at Seventy. His poem ‘Lecturing My Daughter in Her First Fall Rain’ has been permanently incorporated into the design of the Milwaukee Convention Center. He blogs at The Middlewesterner. With David Graham he recently co-edited Local News: Poetry About Small Towns. .


from “The Woman in an Imaginary Painting”

She knows he does not
study the paint too
carefully. Wisdom

is in his eye, in
the touch of his brush.
Where color is mixed

on his palette, his
palette is wiser
than he is. There are

no accidents,
she believes. That which
touches this is this,

the flush at her throat,
as if the brush knows
it already knew.

from “The Woman in an Imaginary Painting”

Her sadness is like
wind in the cemetery,
the pines moaning loss.

She cannot speak of it,
of course. She is only
a woman in a painting.

She is color and line
and shape in this single
instant. She is darkness

painted with all the love
the artist had for her.

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