sarah riggs†††††

Red ††††† ††††††††††† [poem+painting]


It travels.Like other colors, but faster.You become red looking

at red.Youíre already red.As in, the nature artist crushes rock (iron

inside of us, iron outside of us) and it rushes through a stream red.

Stream bed.Bed.Red red red.Itís energy.No, anger.No, energy.

No, anger. No energy.Love.Itís love.Red coursing through

a river.Artificial.Nothing is artificial.How could it be?




The emotion that bleeds.A color of.Very much is. This

you can feel.How red.If some reds are deeper than others,

to what do we respond.Respond how.Respond when.




It expands.If it does.Does not exist in the dark.Is a color of.

We cannot see it.Can.




So vibrant it does not see.Sees.Red only.Forgets. A bull

does/not see color.Who sees much sees, not often, anyway.Whatís

your red cloth?Who pulls it away? Would you settle for a cloth

without color?Would you settle?Settle where?With whom.Why.

Is it a red feeling?What color is the feeling.




A statement against war.For war.Of the reds.Of blood.†† Blood

is good.Not bloodshed.But blood. Rose red.Mitral valve red.Ribbon

red.Oxygenated red.Merlot red.Red on red.Red on red on red.A red

point makes a point that is red on a surface.That surface is red and

that surface would be round.Would have to be.War is an inner state

for those who do not wish to go to war.But it shows.Shows red.


Wanting war is a black feeling.Not wanting war is a black feeling.

Black wins?Pitches against color.Pitches into.Pitches black.The

colors are different but they are the same.They are the same.But

black is not a color.Or is made of other colors?Tints of red.Ribbons.

Lines.Darts.All is red.All of it.All black?All red.Not = war is

a red feeling.




Red is a color that looks differently.Does not look.Feels.Red feels.

Wonít stop.†† Pulsing.It pulses.Itís a pulsing color.Hate it.

Hate red.†† Then try to separate out the feeling.Will you?




Someone said the word red indicates an idea.What idea I wonder.I

would like to know.


Rose madder geranium lake†††††† in/dul/gent††††† bright red carmine

perylene red crimson lake Chinese†††† en/raged†† alps red rose dorť

scarlet lake alizarin crimsonpeony red†† Actually no, that would be,



Not all reds are the same.What if they were?Would you want them to be?






If you read exhibition notes even though you dislike them, itís probable that you fear language.  And cannot do without it.  What you need to know about this red is that itís as subtle as a stop sign.  You stop to go.  Not to stay stopped forever.   Language is as blunt or as slippery as you want it to be.  If you resent this poem, that would be good.  If not, youíre a free bull.  

at the time of writing, sarah riggs is pleased to read rife, to be in rife.   sheís in paris, but her heart is half in san francisco.since starting to translate french poetry, everything feels like translating, even cooking.  but painting has always felt like cooking.  thereís a very thin black book, Word Sightings: American Poetry and Visual Media, with routledge (2002) and some poetry in New American Writing and forthcoming in Aufgabe and Petite (a nice little French journal).