Conversations with writer Wendy Noonan

Updated: Jan 14

Wendy Noonan, Playground Gallery, Pacific Northwest writer, educator, wrote a poem for our show Fragile. Their witty writing tightens and completes the presentation of all artworks in the gallery to reveal artists' contemplation on Fragile (See poem below).

Wendy Noonan’s poetry has appeared in many journals, including Painted Bride Quarterly, Muzzle, Crazy Horse and 2River View. Her creative nonfiction, forthcoming in Diagram, was also featured in Meridian Journal as one of two finalists for their 2020 Editor’s Choice prize. Wendy teaches at Pacific Northwest College of Art and tutors at Portland Community College.

Meditations on Fragile: (5 parts)


Ants on the counter swarm the pulp of discarded lemon and tealeaves;

A mouth on the wing of a butterfly only terrifies a different species.

Look at the stagnant water

vomiting rhythmically

from a snake-

like hose,

this new color cut from your veins that flows nothing like red.


Tiny fish hide from predators

beneath the winged, floating umbra of sea anemone;

I wish I could protect you from your nightmares this way.

Loansharks, raccoons, burglarers….”D’s.”

I can save you from these.

And there’s no deadbolt, threat, or aluminum baseball bat

That will prevent your imagination

From sporing chaos in the dark.

You’re my son.


It’s 1:00 a.m. on a Friday night at the first afterparty since quarantine lifted.

You pour yourself a tequila

I think you might be stoned.

I know I am.

I’m glad you’ve decided you’re a leftist.

But why aren’t you upstairs drawing Gandolf?

It’s intimidating how you know more about politics than me.


Anemones are vivaporous, meaning they reproduce like us

with just one significant difference:

fully formed children float out of their mouths like bubbles

or bad ideas,

knowing less about the cycles of the tide,

or what predators to quiet around.

You text me at 2 a.m. asking about death.

Finally, someone acknowledges my expertise.

It would be you


who agitates the possibilities in order to limit them.

Talk to dead people, I say.

It will make you feel better.



Some say silence is the most fragile thing,

And I just don’t understand.

You can break a silence,

and it forms again.

and again.

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