Home > Poetry > The Clever Studio
Published: Fri Oct 15 1976
Wosene Worke Kosrof, The Inventor V (detail), 2022, acrylic on linen. Courtesy of Sullivan Goss Gallery, Santa Barbara, California
The Clever Studio

The men were always taking off their shirts
to show that they had muscles sprouting hair,
sometimes sweating, bloody, streaked with dirt
the clever studio had painted there;
you didn’t have to guess what they were like—
bony boys who’d got a little older
and finally put away their childish bikes
and grown a thicker neck and wider shoulder.
The women, though, had never been mere girls
with runny noses and as flat as us
or worn those bangs, and bows in gradeschool curls—
a thrilling thing had happened to their chests
and MGM kept the secret well
that such silk legs were ever good at baseball.

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Harold Witt has published three collections of poetry: Winesburg by the Sea (Thorp Springs Press, 1979), The Snow Prince Poems and Collages (Blue Unicorn Press, 1982), and American Lit (Ashland Poetry Press, 1994). He is widely regarded as a master of contemporary formalist poetry. (updated 7/2010)

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