Man Script

By Amy Holman

Membrane is parchment,
or so the words unite in seed
of Middle English earth. Once,
in experiment, a bunch of us
wrote lines of poetry

in Magik Marker on a naked
man lying face down on some
coats at The Drawing Center.
Not quite erotic like "The Pillow
Book" would be, but I did think

of this man and his woman
later sweating our words onto
their sheets before enough showers
could soap us censored. Not
a dead sheep's skin with gold

leaf but yet an illuminated
text, or breathing parchment.
Forget where we started, this
evening of written exquisite corpse
took a turn past the original 1920s

drawings on the gallery walls.
Lines disembodied and suggestive,
these exercises are like Mad
Libs, only they bring us back to
lyric, the unimaginable body

made beautiful despite its
frog legs and women's hands. Our
bearded gentleman deferred to
his girlfriend when his name was
drawn, but she mocked, it's up

to you. Lights dimmed to a
filament darkness or protective
tissue, he stripped, swiftly, with
effortless moves, as if his clothes
and modesty were just taped on.

None of us budged, at first,
suddenly thoughtful of home, or
dinner, but then advanced as
a flock of shy, dumb sheep with
indelible ink thoughts. I put my

small nephew's fear of fire
in the trees below the man's left
shoulder blade. No one wrote on his
pale ass. We were told by our leader
to read from him all at once,

canceling all effort to create
a body of work. He was just a color
scrawl and we, as indistinct
in voice as a restaurant crowd.
I'm glad my coat was not beneath

his strange penis, nor my skin
tickled by the tentative,
slimy strokes of soaked felt.
Eros and the Muses had skipped out
early, and when I reached the

street, I saw the night
had a brilliancy like the first
time I drank too much tequila
and turned my head — all vivid
and a little bit shiny.
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About Amy Holman

Amy Holman is an author of poetry and prose, and a literary consultant to writers.

Amy is the expert creative writers turn to for insightful advice that gets results. Over 11,000 writers of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction have benefitted from her practical and custom-tailored methodology. She has taught at many literary and community centers, colleges and universities, writers conferences and festivals, including The Hudson Valley Writers Center, Silver Bay YMCA, Emerson College, NYU, The New School, Spalding University, Bread Loaf Writers Conference, Conversations & Connection, ASJA Annual Conference, and Sotto Voce Poetry Festival. Amy works individually with authors to research and identify publishing markets for their work.

Amy's newest book, Wrens Fly Through This Opened Window, with poems drawn from varied news pieces, art, and expressions of speech, is united by her "laser gaze, an angle of perspective combining incisive wit and passionate observation." (The National Poetry Review). She is also the author of four previous poetry chapbooks, including the prize-winning Wait For Me, I'm Gone and a reference book, An Insider's Guide to Creative Writing Programs, on artist colonies, residencies, grants, fellowships and graduate programs. She also wrote a knitting column for The Huffington Post, and a publishing column for Poets & Writers Magazine.

Amy posts about writing, art, crafts, science, nature, culture, and literature at her blog, Lending Whale and on writing and culture at the group-edited blog, We Who Are About To Die. She has been a guest blogger for The Best American Poetry, 32 Poems, and SideRoad.

Amy has read her poetry and prose from a boat on Brooklyn's Gowanus Canal to a bookstore across from The Louvre in Paris, and many points between.

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