Michael T. Young

The Ground We Stand On

At a special exhibit of Whistler watercolors, I stood beside a friend who was studying to be a painter. In front of us was a quick rendering of storefronts along a city street, suggested by the fewest light strokes, an entire universe conjured as if from a handful of shadows. And then my friend pointed to one in the foreground and said, “Without that line, the whole thing would collapse.” And he was right; the weight of Whistler’s world balanced on that one length of shadow, what I imagined was the edge of the sidewalk but was just one brushstroke, proof of how the ground we stand on can be almost nothing.

In our dream band, on classical piano:

Michael T. Young’s third full-length collection, The Infinite Doctrine of Water, was longlisted for the Julie Suk Award. His previous collections are The Beautiful Moment of Being Lost and Transcriptions of Daylight. Michael received a Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. His chapbook, Living in the Counterpoint, received the Jean Pedrick Chapbook Award. His poetry has been featured on Verse Daily and The Writer’s Almanac. It has also appeared or is forthcoming in numerous journals including Cimarron Review, Gargoyle Magazine, One, Rattle, and Valparaiso Poetry Review.

Variations in Violet and Grey—Market Place, Dieppe 1885
James McNeill Whistler American

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