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C.N.P Poetry 

  • Writer's pictureCathexis Northwest Press

The Artist

By: Elijah Zitler

She could make an Aloe Vera into an octopus

as long as her fingertips could help

the going get going.

She could make a brush jar into the essence

of dishonesty and spirit’s cross-section

or a sketch of the two entangled.

She could make a canvas into a maple turntable.

She could make a neck into a gourd

highlighted with gasps around the chipped

piece of an Adam's apple.

She could make an art into a mansion

with just the help of commission

and the mouth whispering butter smeared

in arcs into her pounding hands.

I could see her mulberries in the skies above us, the other ones—You know! The other ones!

Her hands rotated as if attached to a tire axle.

I was mesmerized.

I would be a still life,

but I can’t sit still in front of her.

The Artist can make the still into the


What a power! She has finally taken this

yardstick from the whimsically snapping

ballpoint pens all in a weird row.

I am terrified. Finally. Yes. The octopus is

our occasion to roam under the galloping

bathroom pavement. And then—to draw

And then—to paint

And then—to conceptualize the geometry of

the saints

And then—to faint

The Artist—the artist—the artist—

cannot draw a horse without making him

grateful—under one brush’s tarnish or another’s slinking sheen,

even if he’s caged. Even-handed, she repels

the trotting fields and the buzzing plains.


Elijah Zitler is a graduate of New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts, Creative Writing, and Benjamin Franklin High School. He lives in New Orleans serving and being a barista.


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