If You Seek a Pleasant Peninsula by Jake Bauer


Detroit Institute of Art, Kenneth Noland, Untitled, 1981:

The paper is the medium for these three prints. The
color results from the fibers used to make the paper.
The composition comes from molding the paper into
horizontal bands by applying varying amounts of
pressure to it.

The machine that applied the pressure
was bought from a woman in Watersmeet.
The pressure was sometimes like grabbing minnows
with her grandfather, other times like pushing
an owl through a tear in some fabric hung from
the clothesline. The woman’s existence was the narrow
hall of the one-room library in that town. The yellows
of it. The lilac and alabaster. The wise old owl,
the more he knows, the less he says, he reminded
himself as he watched the woman under the jack pines
using her hands to talk to lovers, sometimes laying
them flat like rapids on the Ontonagon River, sometimes
making them judder like a camera, which, not too
long before had been invented, and, by pressing
down, also captured silent things.


JAKE BAUER is an MFA candidate at The Ohio State University, where he also serves as a poetry editor for The Journal. His work has appeared recently or is forthcoming in DIAGRAM, The Bennington Review, and The Dunes Review.