Birth of A Surrealist

Alina Stefanescu

Start as a seed
wind up a splinter
not much surreal
about taking a tree
for its mulch
unless you get stuck
with subcutaneous

Start as an artist
wind up a witness
to World War I
not much surreal
about trenches and guns
or corpse v. carcass
unless you get stuck
with subcutaneous

Start right here
wind up there
not much surreal
about moving through
space or time
until you get stuck
before a painting
Ceci n’est pas un pipe
with the subcutaneous
consequences, holding up
your splintered palm, saying
“This here is not a splinter”
knowing only a surrealist
might really see
the nascent tree.

ALINA STEFANESCU was born in Romania, raised in Alabama, and reared by the ghost of Hannah Arendt. Her poems have been published online at the Dead Mule School of Southern Literature and Collective Exile. She lives in Tuscaloosa with her partner and three unschooled children.

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