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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 13: May 2022
Poem: 114 words
By John Brantingham

Paul Klee’s Introducing the Miracle*

 
The miracle itself happens in the background. 
A man removes his own head from his body 
and holds it up with one hand and the eyes 
blink, and the mouth speaks, and we might have found 
the new Messiah except what would God need 
with the barkers exclaiming in front of Him, 
and so we are left to wonder if this means 
anything and what exactly is the trick. 
We are represented up in the stands watching 
the whole show with detached bemusement 
for this spectacle, just another spiel, 
another stupid game, a moment distracting 
us from what matters, the wonderment 
of life when we concentrate on what’s real. 

 

 

*Publisher’s Note:

Introducing the Miracle (gouache, pen, and ink on plastered fabric, mounted on board; 1916) by Paul Klee (1879-1940) is held by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. Because the artwork is under copyright to Artists Rights Society, it does not appear here, but can be viewed online at MoMA (link retrieved on 16 May 2022):
https://www.moma.org/s/ge/collection_ge/objbytech/objbytech_tech-6_sov_page-21.html


John Brantingham
Issue 13, May 2022

was the first poet laureate of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, and now lives in Jamestown, New York. He is the author of 19 books of poetry and fiction including his latest, Life: Orange to Pear (Bamboo Dart Press, 2020). His poems, stories, and essays are published in hundreds of magazines and journals. His work has appeared on Garrison Keillor’s daily show, The Writer’s Almanac; has been nominated multiple times for the Pushcart Prize; and was selected for publication in The Best Small Fictions anthology series for 2022 and 2016.

Author’s website: johnbrantingham.com

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Finnegan’s (Fiancée Goes McArthur Park on His Birthday) Cake, flash fiction by Brantingham in MacQueen’s Quinterly (Issue 9, August 2021); selected for publication in The Best Small Fictions 2022 anthology

Objects of Curiosity, a collection of his ekphrastic poems (Sasse Museum of Art, 2020)

For the Deer, one of two haibun by Brantingham in KYSO Flash (Issue 8, August 2017)

Four prose poems in Serving House Journal (Issue 7, Spring 2013), including A Man Stepping Into a River and Poem to the Child Who I Almost Adopted

 
 
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