Brian Wallace Baker
Editor’s Note from Ian O’Brien: I first discovered Brian’s poetry through a prose poem he had published in the Lindenwood Review earlier this year. I was instantly struck by his voice and his imagery: he not only takes us to interesting places, but he often comes to them from a side-angle. He has an ability to get to the heart of something in an offbeat way, which I think gives his writing an originality. In these three poems, which I encourage you to read again and again, Brian captures tender, small moments of parenthood that, when returned to, unveil huge meaning. His poems, like photographs, offer snapshots not only of tiny domestic moments, but also whole landscapes of themes and ideas..
Three Months Old Today
your whirlpool eyes cannot gape wide enough to immerse the fullness of your wonder open your mouth too as wide as you can become a whale shark inhale millions of tiny moments in this time before fishing boats and giant hooks kick your way through cool salt and sun sparkle of a brand new ocean
Coloring with My Daughter Twenty-five Years After a Friend Convinced Me I Couldn’t
Like a “Girl Color”
long buttersmooth arcs across the coloring book page beautiful despite not remaining within the lines beautiful despite not being the correct color for a cartoon dachshund gosh isnt purple beautiful isnt purple the most beautiful color in the world
My daughter reaches over her head and blindly selects from her mother’s drawer a trifold of thin cardboard, featuring a model without mole or fly-away hair, with cheekbones as sharp as ice shelves, whose lips half-bloom to kiss the air. Naked narrow shoulders slope down to the summits of narrow arms. A shallow chest descends to the northern borders of sand dune breasts. Inside hides a sampling of every acceptable version of female skin, even tones to clothe unevenness. My daughter does not unfold the cardboard. She studies the woman on the front like a map she cannot read, teetering on her tiny legs as if at the edge of a precipice.
Brian Wallace Baker is a poet and essayist from Erda, Utah, who holds an MFA from Western Kentucky University. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Little Patuxent Review, River Teeth’s Beautiful Things column, Split Lip Magazine, Whale Road Review, and elsewhere. You can find him on Twitter @bbrianwallace.