Purchase Issue 4

Purchase Issue 4


Lisa Russ Spaar

Tristesse Madrigal

Morning after, a black crow,
parsonly, struts the driveway,

dips into a divot’s catch of rain
its Aesopian beak. Shadows shift

in shape of sycamores, Corinthian tops
raving in wind their emerald tatting.

Clouds condense sky. Sirens cry.
In a ditch, flies silver a fallen doe.

Most of all, this dent against matted fence,
nest some rabbits made in winter,

meuse, old word for the bodymark
animals make, bedding down.

Absence blue as the prophet’s cloak.
Secret muse that fills my throat.





Lisa Russ Spaar's "Bald-faced Hornet Madrigal," "Lady Bird Taint Madrigal," and "Tristesse Madrigal" can be read in the print edition of The Arkansas International 4.



Lisa Russ Spaar is the author and editor of over ten books of poems and essays, most recently OREXIA: POEMS (Persea, 2017) and the forthcoming more truly and more strange: Contemporary American Self-Portrait Poems (Persea, 2019). Her awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Rona Jaffe Award. She is professor of English at the University of Virginia.