Rome #17 — Anthony Hernandez

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He began to wonder about the noise that colors make (Anne Carson’s Autobiography of Red)

It was not the fear of ridicule,

to which everyday life as a winged red person had accommodated Geryon early in life,

but this blank desertion of his own mind

that threw him into despair. Perhaps he was mad. In the seventh grade he had done

a science project on this worry.

It was the year that he began to wonder about the noise that colors make. Roses came

roaring across the garden at him.

He lay on his bed at night listening to the silver light of stars crashing against

the window screen. Most

of those he interviewed for the science project had to admit they did not hear

the cries of the roses

being burned alive in the noonday sun. Like horses, Geryon would say helpfully,

like horses in war.No, they shook their heads.

Why is grass called blades? he asked them. Isn’t it because of the clicking?

They stared at him. You should be

interviewing roses, not people, said the science teacher. Geryon liked this idea.

The last page of his project

was a photograph of his mother’s rosebush under the kitchen window.

Four of the roses were on fire.

They stood up straight and pure on the stalk, gripping the dark like prophets

and howling colossal intimacies

from the back of their fused throats. Didn’t your mother mind—

From Anne Carson’s novel-poem Autobiography of Red.

Bill Allard, Vicky Palermo Composite with Poppy — Edmund Rudolph Teske


Drops of Rain, 1903 — Clarence White

Walt Whitman in Camden, NJ — Samuel Murray


Turning Plant — Diet Wiegman


Opening of the Picasso Retrospective at the Tate Gallery, 1960 — Burt Glinn

Optical Parable — Manuel Alvarez Bravo

Regarded from Two Sides (David) — Diet Wiegman


Frida with Globe, Coyoacan, Mexico — Manuel Alvarez Bravo

Chicago — Harry Callahan