Picasso Snookums
By Jnana Hodson

Something of a tattoo remains

an outlaw initiation. Your rose

is no rose crossing distress.

My snookums peruses my journal

pages more often than I do

no matter how intently

I set them off-limits.

Despite her lovely torso, she dreads

thighs that may fatten. Ignores

robust-legged lithographs incarnating

Mediterranean provocations.

Sometimes enormous limbs

thrust contemptuous dancers

into my embrace. Other times,

beyond any grasping. More often,

I wobble as if drinking deep into night.

Still, I wonder why she refuses to see

where she’s inked herself on my parts.


Born in Dayton, Ohio, and a graduate of Indiana University, I continue in the tradition of spiritual renaming, which may be seen in both Biblical and Native-American examples. In my case, the name Jnana (commonly pronounced Ja-NAN-a, Sanskrit for the path of intellect or discernment) was bestowed when I dwelled in a Yoga ashram in eastern Pennsylvania.

As a professional journalist, I’ve also resided in Upstate New York, in two additional quarters of Ohio, in desert-expanse orchards of Washington State, in the Mississippi River ribbon of eastern Iowa, in the harbor city of Baltimore, and finally in former textile-mill towns of New Hampshire.

All along, my writing has grown out of spiritual exploration. Often, seeking the unique cadence of each place I’ve dwelled. At other times, delving headlong into confrontations and paradoxes that entangle present-day romance, sexual attraction, and intimacy. Not infrequently, as mythology has long demonstrated, landscapes and loving overlap.

Experimentation - a desire to discover, by trial and error, structures and language to synthesize the details I employ - is a central concern in much of my poetry.


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