Janet Sutherland has three poetry collections from Shearsman Books. The most recent, Bone Monkey, was published in 2014. She has been widely published in magazines and is a member of the Needlewriters Collective.
Male écorché leaning against a tree
exposing the anatomy of thorax and left breast
François Jallat 1545
It could be a self portrait, Bone Monkey thinks,
as he considers the picture in its glass case.
He likes the attitude the man has struck
as he holds his peeled skin away from his chest,
his air of worldliness, his open smile,
his calm acceptance of nakedness.
Apollo, Marsyas, Bone Monkey
Intricate work; those long ears,
the pocks on his bulbous nose,
took patience and a steady hand.
The intimate folds and crevices
were tender and whitened with yeast.
He was thorough and took his time.
The pelt lay on the mountain slope
where Apollo dropped it, like a red river.
Bone Monkey picked it up and pulled it on.
He drew those tissue lips to his.
When he played,
the flute remembered him.
Wild music, hurled with stones
by cataracts in Spring or
hushed with eddies in the shallows of a bay.
In stops, in starts, a blackbird’s song.
Drawing the liquid from his throat
on a sunlit post at the edge of any clearing.
[“Apollo, Marsyas, Bone Monkey’” first appeared in Tears in the Fence. “Male écorché” first appeared in Long Poem Magazine. Both poems were subsequently published in Bone Monkey, Shearsman Books, 2014]
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