May 2013: Baugher’s second full-length collection of poems, “The Body’s Physics” is forthcoming from Tebot Bach (Huntington Beach, CA) in July 2013. The cover art will be a detail of Jason C. Bourguignon’s painting “Woman Resting, Dreaming.”
Contact: JaneeBaugher AT gmail.com
Janée Baugher’s ekphrastic poems move in a synaesthetic dance with the physical body. The Body’s Physics explores the vivid color/vibrant motion of emotion as, one by one, the poet picks the lock of paintings, sculpture, and poems. The recombinant DNA of Baugher’s chosen gallery generates its own idiosyncratic “axial heat.” – Judith Kitchen, author of Half in Shade
Ekphrastic poems must not simply describe their subjects; they must embody them. In The Body’s Physics, Janée Baugher demonstrates extraordinary poetic vision, and her lyric style is both tender and resolutely connected to the body. – David Roderick, author of Blue Colonial
In The Body’s Physics, Janée Baugher’s poems reveal how art creates life. Wild with ideas, rich with emotion, her lines focus on paintings and sculpture, then leap from them into her own spirited imagination. Her words praise what “we see and can never see.” Her profound conversations with visual art, deep journeys of mind and body, remind us to be “open in the manner that a sea opens.” Fine gifts, these poems. – Peggy Shumaker, author of Toucan Nest
In The Body’s Physics Janée Baugher explores “narratives of marrow,” creating a wondrous intersection between the physical embodied world and the presence of a keenly observing human mind. As her fine gaze takes in “muting folds of skin like exclamation marks,” she enlarges the reader’s sight along with her own. Baugher finds words for the wordless as the body and artwork acquire voices, bringing the visual into language, the heart’s unsaid into words. – Alice Jones, author of Plunge
“One of the greatest benefits of traveling abroad is the way it can disorient us and, therefore, get us looking in brand-new ways at the world around us. Poet Janée Baugher spent six weeks in Europe and came back with this book about accepting the disorientation and affirming the pleasures of novelty.” (from University of Washington Bookstore Website)
Janée knows how to snap a moment into focus, without condescending, on behalf of her readers. Her interest in what happens when a poet lets the world speak for itself inhabits large swaths here; each page benefits from it. These felt to me like steady poems in a moving world, or like reliably still reports from travel’s manic introspection. I was enchanted reading Coördinates of Yes. It’s honest and intimate without ever becoming precious, and it gives us the self without the usual indulgence. There’s an unusual, and refreshing, sincerity in these poems, from a poet who has stripped herself of cynicism. – David Guterson, author of Snow Falling on Cedars and The Other
Though they traverse European landscape, these dense, rich poems are voyages as Baudelaire inscribed the term: journeys to the interior. Baugher conducts us through a paradis artificiel where art is the window to journeys within. A stunning début collection. – Peter Cooley, author of The Van Gogh Notebook and Divine Margins
If, as Wallace Stevens said, “the greatest poverty is not to live in the physical world,” Janée Baugher is, indeed, a rich woman. Whether she is regarding a work of art or a landscape seen in “the altered state [of] travel,” Baugher is keenly observant, almost “walking on eyes,” while simultaneously aware that “It is only with one’s heart that one can see.” Coördinates of Yes is an impressive début collection. – Grace Bauer, author of Beholding Eye and Retreats & Recognitions
May you have the great fortune to read Coördinates of Yes on an eastbound transatlantic flight as I’ve just done. This book is an exquisite poetic guide through cemeteries and village spires, 2 a.m. city streets, sunflower fields, derelict hotels, young loves, sea cliffs, and work after work of articulate art, an old world made new by Baugher’s insightful gaze, deftness of phrasing, and companionable spirit. – Jonathan Johnson, author of Mastodon, 80% Complete and In the Land We Imagined Ourselves
In reading Coördinates of Yes, one encounters an alchemy of images, surprising textures, and an alluring contemplative spirit that announces Baugher’s joy simply in making language sing beyond mere observation and description. Through her travels, both imagined and real, one realizes an evolving, stark cosmopolitanism in Janée’s language inventions. I am thrilled by her elegant utterances and animated insights in poem after poem. – Major Jackson, author of Hoops and Leaving Saturn
The Swiss painter Paul Klee famously said in his notebooks, “One eye sees, the other feels.” These lapidary ekphrastic renderings by Janée Baugher take Klee to heart. Braiding sensory pleasures with meticulous observation, she fully succeeds in transporting us to places previously un-sensed and unseen. Here is a garden of depths and delights. – Jeffrey Levine, Publisher, Tupelo Press, and author of Rumor of Cortez and Mortal, Everlasting
Coordinates of Yes, a collection of poems by Janee Baugher, was released in 2010 by Ahadada Books.
Conceived during a trek through Europe, Coördinates of Yes marries nuances of wanderlust (loneliness, adventure, reverie, and risk) with ekphrasis (writing influenced by the visual arts). This collection of poems addresses different ways of seeing: The experience of travel and art-viewing can enlighten as well as confuse, while the literal eye that journeys is undifferentiated from the eye of the imagination. Dualism lies at the core of Coördinates of Yes: “Coördinates” refers to the certain locale and transience of travel, and “Yes” suggests the wonderment felt by travelers and museum guests.
Baugher reads poem, “Island to Island” on 4/4/12 at Kettleson library (Sitka, Alaska)
Baugher reads poem, “At US Customs” on 4/4/12 at Kettleson library (Sitka, Alaska)
Baugher reads poem, “The Mother” on 4/4/12 at Kettleson library (Sitka, Alaska)
Baugher reads a selection of poems on 1/25/2012 at C&P Coffee (West Seattle)
Baugher reads poem, “The Mother” on 3/24/2010 at Pilot Books (Seattle)
Baugher reads a pastiche poem, “Through the Looking Glass, Part I” at Pilot Books
[A poem from the Dublin, Ireland section of "Coordinates of Yes"]
Portaging: The Final Day
How do the blind know of this Blind Garden?
By words of mouth, world in touch.
Opportunities for foliage and flora
in one hand, while fingering the plaque
with the other. Touch of petals,
smell of sun. Raised parchment,
the punched-out – translation of ink
into a language without accent.
After brunch we visit the garden,
and though we’re both sighted,
I’ve never been so unseeing –
time pounding me on. Insisting.
This afternoon at The Porterhouse I wish
you would strum for me like that first night.
How shall I forget you, the way you slipped me up,
slipped me into your pocket how blind it was there,
blind to the derelict life. Loving.
This hour I’m vexed by bouts of sanity, how
the mirror pierces the eyes, eyes of blue and meadow
and nothing lovely except mere notion.
When you dedicated a song to me the C string broke.
I can’t blame it, really, things undoing, unfettered.
The inevitability of parting. Vows to never never
never. The ticks that hail us on.
It’s evening and I’m drinking
so I can say this: I prefer the before –
before the detrition of fiction to fact.
During your first set last Sunday
we did not know. And now that I know,
I want it all back, a week knowing you,
walking on eyes. Shelled blind. To remain
strangers: take back the introductions,
stop the beers. The way undiscovered possibilities
don’t disappoint. And because I can love, please,
that requiem and the way I found me in the lyrics:
thousands of miles away, thousands. Away.
2 am and drunk and it’s three hours until my flight.
I am ready. Me, the ancient tomb
of blind skin. As certain questions unravel,
I am poised now to collect them.
This has nothing to do with him.
It has to do with our bout between urns.
What steeps under skin? The cellular level
is deceptive. The blind in my garden
understand this is all one can give,
and have given it. Pressed between
the leaves, this is what I’ll take away:
to love and to be loved, the blind must lead.
Table of Contents
Coordinates of Yes
Ahadada Books, 2010
poems by Janee J. Baugher
Rinsing East 3 (1)
Venus Mit Dem Orgelspieler 4 (1)
Hunger Between Here and Her 5 (1)
Die Mutter 6 (1)
Berlin Wall Museum 7 (1)
Salt Specks in My Lap, Pepper on the Run 8 (1)
Alte Frau Beim Apelschalen 9 (1)
Dusseldorf, Germany: Culminations 10(1)
Through The Looking-Glass, Part I 11(1)
Middle Ages Apothecary’s Room. In Earthenware 14(1)
La Dame A Sa Toilette 15(1)
Painted on the Window, The Words/ “Tabac” and “Bar”/ Spread Inverted on the Table Inside 16(1)
At Juniper-Berries Lake/ in Montagny-Les-Beaune, France,/ I Consider Travel 17(1)
Les Tournesols Et Vin 18(1)
19th Century Cemetery in Gevrey-Chambertin, France 19(1)
Border Crossing: France/Switzerland 20(5)
Eiffel Tower: View of Paris 25(1)
Hotel Du Commerce 26(1)
Le Tricheur A L’As De Carreau 27(1)
La Chambre De Van Gogh A Arles 28(1)
Through the Looking-Glass, Part II 29(1)
After Meeting an American Artist in Paris/ Who Hadn’t Bathed Since Thursday 30(1)
Portrait De L’Artiste 31(1)
L’Atelieur Du Peintre, Allegorie Reelle 32(1)
Meditation on Design 33(1)
La Cathedrale De Rouen Le Portail, Temps Gris 34(1)
The Traveler is a Child with Stars and a Flower 35(1)
Comfortable Distance 36(1)
La Pensee 37(1)
Le Verrou 38(1)
Portrait of Mona Lisa 39(1)
Concession a Perpetuite 40(1)
Des Glaneuses 41(1)
Le Preteur Et Sa Femme 42(1)
Les Raboteurs De Parquet 43(1)
Notre-Dame De Paris 44(5)
Through the Looking-Glass, Part III 49(1)
Holland Park Youth Hostel 50(1)
The Execution of Lady Jane Grey 54(1)
Emaciated Figurine 55(1)
Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View 56(1)
To the Studios 57(1)
Ballet Der Spechte 58(1)
The Lady of Shalott 59(1)
London Aria 60(1)
At the British Library 61(1)
The Artist, As “Incidental Person,”/ Comments on His Book Towers – / His “Skoob” Art (Books Backward) 62(1)
Conditions of a Woman 63(1)
Mares and Foals in a Landscape 64(1)
Samson and Delilah 65(1)
Girl with a White Dog 66(1)
The Bath 67(1)
Nantes Triptych 68(1)
Souls Returning to Their Mortal Shells 69(4)
Through the Looking-Glass, Part IV 73(1)
The First Night Here I Recall the Train Ride,/ My Forming Notions of Dublin -/ Modest Granges As Far As Eyes See 74(1)
Military Manoeuvres 75(1)
The Wounded Poacher 76(1)
Dublin Ireland: After Meeting A Local Musician 77(1)
Study of a Nude 78(1)
Portrait of John Edwards 79(1)
Second Version of Triptych 80(1)
Island to Island 82(1)
Portaging: the Final Day 83(2)
At U.S. Customs 85(1)
Draining West 86(2)
About the Author 89