Saturday, November 18, 2017

Sasha Pimentel and Jackson Pollock Get Lost in a Lavender Mist

Born in Manila and raised in the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, Sasha Pimentel is a Filipina poet and author of For Want of Water (Beacon Press, 2017), selected by Pulitzer Prize-winning judge Gregory Pardlo as winner of the 2016 National Poetry Series. She is also the author of Insides She Swallowed (West End Press, 2010), winner of the 2011 American Book Award, selected by judge James Bertolino. She currently teaches in the Bilingual MFA Program at the University of Texas at El Paso. 

Jackson Pollock, Lavender Mist Number 1, 1950
Pollock’s Lavender Mist Number 1

The woman in the well undrowning is almost 

through the water, her hair slips up in strings. 
Boiling out, her body is in becoming: 
ghost-like, or like a human, the artist does 
not say. (This is his trick, this perfect 
just-surfacing.) All at once you can see a 
forehead, the hard septum of her nose—still, 
vague as an idea, she could be your mother, 
wet behind a door. What kinds of human 
drowning have rubbed along my own 
mother’s flesh and muzzled it yellow, 
mewing out those sounds I heard as a girl, 
shivering in her hallway? The woman in the 
well undrowning is almost through the paper, 
her hands are sweating through.

Listen to Pimentel reading here: