Karen Randall is an artist who works in the media of words, digital collage (both sound and visual), oil painting, as well as letterpress printing. She is the proprietor of Propolis Press and is the author of the Extruded Gilgamesh, an intertwingled text based on the ancient Sumerian Epic and contemporary writings on genetics, computer science, philosophies of language, &c. Parts of the Ex-Gil have been published as a chapbook, rendered into music, and performed as a dance with choreography by Ellen Kaz.


Karen Randall '90


Leaf is not sprawl

Leaf is not sprawl: it is neither trick nor treat
nor prickle lapse, nor tooth decay
nor yet a charnel house to speech that stinks,
inspires & stinks, & stinky empires that speak.

Insolent baboons cannot economize the luxuriant lung
with rain drenched inscriptions, nor clean the blood,
nor inhabit the blue hydrangeas of sleep. (those sleepy sheep)
Yet many a baboon believes in stalking the wind anemone—
even the smut-eyed evangelical daisies enchain their omega for an oily flash.

All our ivory regurgitants tower over irrigation ditch
where dreaming of fish, bivalves, and violet ampersand increase
or snared by milkweed pod past revolution’s red hour
our eyebright, bitter-, jimson-, joepye-weeds for peace
or yellow tradewind of the smoking altar.
God of sock-monkeys,
how felt-tipped pen, how sparrowhawk forsooth.
Darwin over Bardo beacons maybe? But what pollinates the wood?