about the author

Joseph Gross received a Master of Fine Arts from Western Michigan University in 2010. His poems, essays, and stories have appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Cider Press Review, Eclectica Magazine, Fourth Genre, Mid-American Review, Ninth Letter, Pif Magazine, Redivider, Salamander, SmokeLong Quarterly, Summerset Review, and others. He has recently become Editor-in-Chief of Atticus Review.

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Blue in Green

Joseph Gross

after the recording by Miles Davis

I want to see it because they’re colors—
Chunks of sky through pines on a hill,
A robin’s egg broken in the grass,

Rothko’s painting, although that’s Blue
Divided by Green, which sounds like math
For fine arts, something importantly unsolvable:

The square root of suffering, ethos to the power
Of Bill Evans’ gentle piano
Times Miles squeezing chrome through a keyhole.

We long for association where it doesn’t belong—
Shapes must be shaped like something—but how else to describe
The acoustic bass, its assurance and depth,

Without Giant Leaping Softly, without looking
Out the window at the oaks as their roots explode into shape
With each thickly fingered turn. Maybe the title meant

He felt the blue inside green and he’s exposing
Hope’s marriage of canary to gloom, the way young
Dancers at a wedding carry in their easy hips

The truth of their grandparents,
Watching from the flowered tables.

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