The Arrow of Time

As part of the Draw Write Here project, Sue Blaustein and Thea Kovac collaborated as writer and artist responding to the a topic in their medium, swapping work and responding to their partner’s work, creating illustrated stories. This conversation began with Sue’s poetry.

What are screws and bolts,

and washers?

What is thrift? What is order?
What is “class” and what’s

true flavor?

What’s “before”? What is “after”?
Is “now” always stuck
between the two?
Can they change places?

How does it matter?

Someone’s packing up a workshop,

cleaning a garage.

Someone is sorting and deciding.

And says:

Don’t toss those, they’re still OK.

Take them to Goodwill.

I got

twenty inch-long
hex-head bolts,
and nineteen lock washers
in a sturdy, shapely

glass jar.

I liked the jar.

The plastic top is red
and says “High Point”.

I set my Google search terms.

“High Point”
“glass jar”

High Point

was a brand of instant decaf!

Came out in 1980…

That explains the swagger

of the typeface.

High Point commercials
featured Lauren Bacall.

They’re on YouTube.

YouTube – the past-on-demand.

I watched.

There was my jar!
Touted by an icon

for my parent’s generation,

whose golden age
stretched
into my time.

Class, sass,
sophistication –

I don’t need the caffeine…

She winks.

I’m active enough, thank you.

It’s 1981 on my screen,

2017 where I sit.

Who can choke down instant decaf

anymore?

But when

Lauren vamps, and lifts the handsome jar,
and shows us the brown crystals,

and tells us:

The flavor is deep

and rich,

you almost wish

the brand hadn’t been pulled

in 1993.

It’s 2017.

Look at what I learned

in minutes!

My transparent jar
must be at least 24 years old.

Still good for something –
the threads on the bolts

are fine.

Take them to Goodwill.

So – what are screws and bolts,

and washers?

What’s “before”? What is “after”?
Is “now” always stuck between the two?
Have they changed places?

How does it matter?


This is Thea’s response:

Kovac5


by Sue Blaustein
Artwork by Thea Kovac
In H. Fischman (Ed.), Draw Write Here, Volume 2, Issue 2. Blaustein, S. & Kovac, T. (2017)

The item, from Goodwill, that began Sue & Thea’s artistic conversation:

 

© 2018 inwantofjasmine.com All individual works copyrighted by their authors; all rights reserved. All poems and essays are works of the imagination. While the perceptions and insights are based on the authors’ experiences, no reference to any real person is intended or should be inferred. The views expressed on this website may not necessarily reflect the views of In Want of Jasmine: Journal for the Written Wor(l)d.

On Picnic Day

As part of the Draw Write Here project, Sue Blaustein and Thea Kovac collaborated as writer and artist responding to the a topic in their medium, swapping work and responding to their partner’s work, creating illustrated stories.

On Picnic Day by Thea Kovac

On Picnic Day

We ride elephants
to our rock
on picnic day.
When we arrive – at our boulder –
we dismount
and the elephants

stay there.

They won’t leave
without us.
They wouldn’t,
but it’s not like
waiting. They don’t wait.
They abide where
we are; and when we’re ready
to be somewhere else,
they’re ready too.
That’s how it feels.

They sway their trunks
in rhythm, back and forth
while we unpack
slices of bread.
We lay the slices
directly on our boulder,
because it’s inexhaustibly clean.
The minerals it precipitates strengthen us.
Napkins and paper plates don’t.

Elephant skin is gray, folded

and complicated.

The boulder is textured too.
Its colors are subtle.

Charcoal and rose.

There are little marks, runes
on it – each of us has a favorite.
One looks like part of a crawfish!

We open jars.

We have miraculous spreads
for open-face sandwiches.
Every sort of fruit

and its color, blended.

Orange peel, lemon peel… lime wash.
Deep raspberry thinned to pink,
creating stripes along Concord grape.

The spreads look like sherbet,
but they’re warm – not icy,
not silly. Our sandwiches
look like the sky between
park trees in the east, backlit

in April at dusk;

or the tentacles of anemones

in tide-pools.
We’re calm

because of the colors, calm
from the minerals
and the elephants.
We’re calm from
the antiquity and subtlety
of the markings on our rock.

Others lived.
So can we.


by Sue Blaustein
Artwork by Thea Kovac
In H. Fischman (Ed.), Draw Write Here, Volume 2, Issue 2. Blaustein, S. & Kovac, T. (2017)

The item, from Goodwill, that began Sue & Thea’s artistic conversation:

Kovac1

© 2018 inwantofjasmine.com All individual works copyrighted by their authors; all rights reserved. All poems and essays are works of the imagination. While the perceptions and insights are based on the authors’ experiences, no reference to any real person is intended or should be inferred. The views expressed on this website may not necessarily reflect the views of In Want of Jasmine: Journal for the Written Wor(l)d.