Journalism in Verse – EST. 2016



in Culture by

I realize that Robert Redford should play the older Rembrandt.
But who would play the young Rembrandt? Maybe
Leonardo DiCaprio; after all, he did play Rimbaud.
Now I learn that remex means becoming Mexican
for the second time. Yes, tonight I’m Mexican once again,
reborn, perhaps in Arizona, where I can be dispatched
and deported more easily than from Rhode Island.
I am also reminded that remind is to get
a brand-new mind. Just like Rembrandt
in each of his self-portraits was reminded
that he had a brand-new body. Once, young
and lean, a bit of a rakish tilt of hat, once hefty,
with a beer-nose and deathward eyes.
But today, the word of the day is remora, which means
to be even more remorseful and is also a slender fish
with a suction-head that attaches itself to sharks
like little professors of poetic theory attached to poetry.
But let’s move on to the Renascence, that flowering
of European culture illustrated by a painting
of Rhea, mother of the gods, by Raphael.
Move on to rend, and renew and rendezvous with you,
to repose, to pose again, and relax, to become lax again,
to ree, the female of the ruff, to return again to Rembrandt
painting his self-portrait backwards in time
younger and younger until he becomes a modern artist
painting only white on a white canvas, until Rembrandt
disappears into the white painting. Who can we get
to play him now, maybe just a voice-over, the voice
of a small child whispering the title of the painting,
so faint we can’t quite make it out, it seems
to be something about re, re, re-something
—return, reborn, remember… re-something.



Richard Garcia‘s poetry books include The Other Odyssey, Dream Horse Press, 2014, The Chair, BOA 2015, and Porridge, Press 53, 2016. His poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies. He has won a Pushcart prize and has been in Best American Poetry.

Rembrandt van Rijn’s Self-Portrait in a Flat Cap (1642).



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