Summer 03


Fresh Icons




My mother was the daughter of a very famous surgeon.
(That’s like the Church in the Middle Ages.)

Playing cards and magnets. Pens and garden accessories.
Lamps and ties and elbows and snow globes.

Mounting the bicycle wheel on a stool, he left the matter there.

Who shot him once in the heart?
25 5/8 x 21 1/4 in.
(Then twice in the head).

Hooking his fingers in the air like quotation marks --
He didn’t need anything “froufrou,” he said.
(Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.)

Whom critics loathed is now admired.

Can-do attitude, brawny, stoic.
Oil and thread on plywood.

I have my eyes on your ankles.
(Courtesy of the Philadelphia Museum of Art).


Thomas Swiss's collaborative New Media poems appear online in such journals as Postmodern Culture, as well as in museum exhibits and art shows such as the New York Digital Salon . He is a professor of English and Rhetoric of Inquiry at the University of Iowa, editor of the Iowa Review Web--a journal of new media writing and art-- and author of two collections of poems, Rough Cut (University of Illinois) and Measure (University of Alabama). His forthcoming co-edited book is on the subject New Media Poetics (MIT Press, 2004.)