top of page
  • Writer's pictureLover's Eye Press

2 Poems by Catherine Garbinsky


featuring excerpts of letters written by Vincent Van Gogh

We lived together in the Yellow House,

and I filled the room with sunflowers,

pulled pigment from them like pollen.

I painted them yellow, and yellow, and ochre, and yellow.

I went for days without speaking.

Then I spoke too quickly and slurred my words.

My tongue became a brush.

Each stroke asked and asked and asked

the eternal question of colour that guides us.

At night I heard the yellow hum

across the walls, a lullaby with colour,

I heard it blooming bright.

In the morning I turned

my face toward the sun and the yellow.

There is some answer waiting for me in all of this colour

but I cannot find it. I cannot find it.

We will leave it to [the experts] to discuss

whether or not I have been

or still am— mad, fancy myself mad, or regarded

as mad in a flight of fancy

consisting only of sculpture.

I do not know if madness could be this yellow.

I think maybe I am a sunflower,

bristled stalk and filled with gratitude.


A Spell For Stretch Marks

I am tired skin stretched as far as it will—

peeling wallpaper, a groaning, a growing.

The sound of someone turning the page

of the newspaper. I am rose-scented oils,

I am orange juice dripping down a soft thigh.

I am audacious nipples, aching chest, the body ripping

as it is stretched taut. I am thighs that thunder

and chafe, a belly that booms. Little sneaky bites

of a maple glazed donut. A broken zipper,

buttons bursting off, jeans rubbed to shreds.

I am a wave that ripples and swells,

I am illuminated letters just beneath the skin’s surface.


Catherine Garbinsky is a writer living in Knoxville, Tennessee, currently studying for her MFA in Poetry at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. Catherine is the author of All Spells Are Strong Here (Ghost City Press, 2018) and Even Curses End (Animal Heart Press, 2019).

186 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page