Earth is a Man

José Luis Gutiérrez

After Matta

Roberto Matta – The Earth Is a Man, 1942 (Art Institute of Chicago)


Sure as loss follows plenty, what the eye sees
could only have been scored by the mind.

The elements roil in their apogee.
Water boils its magma, land’s gold spills like wine,

sky bursts its cerements and weeps its stony lament,
oracles of flame for a cooling sun. Inclement

winter melds with the bone-constellated dunes.
Flowers calcify in a wasteland’s glass taciturnity.

This is the centrifuge where seething night spins its runes.
If only appetite could obey cosmology.

Then the bestial energies might be tamed
in their fiery spokes by a magus of the game.


José Luis Gutiérrez is a San Francisco-based poet. His work has appeared in Eratio, Scythe, Margie, Poemeleon, Cortland Review, Hawaii Pacific Review, Xavier Review, DMQ, Jetfuel, Caliban, Kestrel and in the anthologies Mutanabbi Streets Starts Here and 99 Poems for the 99 Percent and is forthcoming in Poetry Salzburg Review and Chiron Review, among others. His first poetry collection, A World Less Away, was published in 2016.



Back to Table of Contents