Amanda Rawlings-Evans

Amanda Rawlings-Evans
2 poems


Let’s Play Drella

Pretend I get to be Lou Reed
& you be Andy Warhol

Pretend that you do a screen print that’s blue
& then do a yellow one & a hot pink one

Then you say, “I did 3 paintings today, what did you do?”
Then I say, “I just wrote this silly poem,” then I storm out.


Or you can pretend to be Picasso
& I’ll be Gertrude Stein.

Act like you come over to my house & paint my picture.
Then we can have a tea party
& one of the boys can pretend to be Hemingway.

We’ll all be like brothers just having a tea party.
Then you say you don’t understand my work.

Then I’ll say I don’t really know if art is good or not,
but I like to look at it.


You don’t have to be Robert Mapplethorpe,
unless you want to be,

but I’ll be Patti Smith all day long & make lettuce soup
& steal raw steaks for us in my coat pockets.

Or how about you be Jackson Pollock
& I’ll be Lee Krasner,

& people will say I’m pretty damned good
for a woman.


Or I’ll be Lawrence Ferlinghetti when he’s writing,
& then you pretend to be him when he starts drawing,
& the same for William Blake.

Or I’ll be William Wordsworth & you be my sister, Dorothy,
& we’ll visit the spot beneath the dark sycamore tree
just one more time.

Or I’ll be Adrienne Rich & her lover . . .
although we both know I’ve never
been to California.


If you promise not to be Charles Bukowski, I swear
I won’t be Sylvia Plath.

Let’s pretend I’m a princess named Charlotte or Virginia,
& the clock is about to strike 12 & I’m running for the door,
but I drop my favorite pen!


Then let’s pretend that you’re Andy again,
& this girl comes with a gun
& tries to shoot you,

but I’m a superhero & I jump in front of the bullet
& she yells, “Where’s my script? Stop ruining my life.”
& I say, “It’s your life, just take control of it.”

Then you just keep making more art forever,
but you’re different after that, like, better?


This time I’ll play the victim, & you can play the hero,
saving us both from our deep dark selves.

Let’s both pretend to be a Rothko.
You be intense yellow,
& pretend I’m bright sky blue.

Let’s play until we fight,
fight until we cry,
then take naps
& wake up believing again
that we can fly
& our magical force fields
will always protect us.

 A Self-Portrait

Back then I loved art so much, I wanted to marry it,
so at age 20, I married a family of artists
and my life became, for awhile, a still life
or rather one still life after another—
drying the dishes, arranging the flowers,
hanging out laundry,
placing chocolate chip cookies
on a vintage plate.
Everything was beautiful.
Everything had its place.

Our lone goldfish swam in a crystal clear bowl,
there was wood and rusted metal,
bright abstract art pieces,
drip paintings on large panels,
glass tables and red leather chairs,
shelves full of brightly bound classics,
granite countertops and concrete floors,
plenty of peace and quiet,
and plenty of time.

And then one day we conceived a new plan,
a crib and a rocking chair, before long
toys were everywhere.
Mixed in with the paints were Crayons and Play-Doh.
Fairy houses were constructed among the rose bushes.
The shelves were crammed not only with books,
but dolls and stuffed animals and puzzles and more toys,
and our lives became a moving picture,
and the art is still there
all around us.



A_Evans_picAmanda Rawlings-Evans teaches English and Creative Writing at The Independent School in Wichita, Kansas where she lives with her husband, daughter, and cat. She is a 5th generation and lifelong Kansan. A 2001 MFA graduate of Wichita State University, her work has been anthologized in the collection Bend Don’t Shatter: Poets on the Beginning of Desire and has been most recently published in the EastWesterly Review at Postmodern Village: Her students’ work can be seen at