Chromotherapy

I bought an arty kimono shirt today. The graphics are awash in mustard and russet, indigo and green. It reminds me of a Klimt painting. I love color: deep pigments from the earth, the saturated palette of jewels. I wear color as life-saving/life-giving medicine.

Chromatics

today was fuschia, she felt
lips and shirt in liaison
lately she has felt violet  
a vixen of purple persuasion
deep sapphire of a cocked brow
underneath, heart understandably crimson
sometimes glowing cherry in excitement
settling then to a satisfied garnet
thought herself, finally, a contented plum
her night ends in iteration
linens paletted in sepia, bronze, copper
mirror of all flesh
back again to beginning

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Gateway

Peaches. Plums. Raspberries. Loquats. Mangos.

They are extravagant yet necessary. An unexpected submergence of pleasure in the everydayness of food. They all convince me of the existence of God.

Gateway

He hands me a mango
a palmful of perfection
skin a blush of flame, sun
and verdance    

                               I am
nine again, drunk on
this fruity miracle I call
fla-mango pondering
its kin to those pink
spindly-legged
birds

                               in Miami
the air lays warm-handed
and close against my face
water-laden and rich with
promise the night insects
sing of each to its own
and the darkness surrounding

                              when I pick up
his hand-delivered nirvana        I slice
into its honeyed orange flesh
standing across from him
this first bite a fruited blessing
                               I am home

Altered Reality

I was going to talk about sleep, dreaming (a favorite topic), and/or virtual reality. The biologically necessary escape from reality, it itself altered reality. But I decided to work with found pieces of prose and poetry and conversation and see what comes of it.

 

What Comes After

I am not what is obvious
skin, hair, tone of voice
but I have learned to live
with it being on display

on the days when life is most
painful, I am most colourful
a too frequent refrain
but there laughter wells

and tenderness so like rain
on sere land I drop
words, yet they don’t break
I uncover joy in twilight  

Creativity

Forty-six new poems in as many days. This is life-altering for me. I’ve never done anything like this before. Sitting down and being intentional with writing. Creating something new each day and not worrying if my creative well will have/will run dry.

For all of you who have watched this unfold, I thank you. I’ll keep doing this for as long as it happens.

 

Creativity

 

Always it starts with the room.

There is a table, a chair, and light enough
to write. Sometimes a pen, ink like silk
and fast-flowing, lolls across a lined pad.
Other times a sleek art of a machine waits.
Its keys that perfect matte, finished
to be a temptation for the hand.

It is clean and even-tempered this space,
this invitation. There is no room for anything
else save you and all that demands a life
only you can give. Even now your fingers
tremble, poised above polished squares.
Something gathers itself. Setting the first word
to print, you become its engine.

 

Room For Us All

Andy Warhol was rarely out of doors. His milieu was city blocks, reclaimed factories and pop culture. He like like to paint brands, like Brillo Pads and Campbell Soup. Yet he established a nature preserve and painted flowers and animals. Such dichotomy is found in us all.

At Play

All of his flowers looked
like creations by five-year-olds
something they whipped up
before naptime, after too much juice
riots of green, orange, pink, and yellow
all smeared like Vasoline on glass
floating, vivid as Koolaid

His zebra stares out at us
from over his shoulder
invitation or flirtation  we’re not sure
he eschews monotone for yellow
red, blue, and white    lines arcing
against sky blue  there’s room
here for us all

 

 

Craft

I visit my local museum periodically. A recent exhibit, Painting a Nation: Hudson River School Landscapes, is the focus of my most recent bout of interest. The paintings vary in size from small and intimate to sizable, giving the viewer a sense of the region’s real-life expansiveness.   

In the exhibition’s gallery talk, the lecturer emphasized that the artists focused on grandeur and majesty in nature, particularly in the Hudson River Valley. Professor WIlliam Otremsky observed – “Great art is a marriage between content and technique.”  That statement crystallizes my musings on the individual paintings. It also reminded me of what I strive for in my own work.

Plein Air

Forests glimmer in russet gold and daubs
of green leaves fight the change of season.
I kneel breaths away from children
dressed in woolens and heavy cloth at play.
My spring-weight cotton shirt and pants
don’t fare well against the autumn chill.

In a blink I hang above a valley open
for miles along the river. Rolling shoulders
of land rise before me and I smell
the crisp apple of air. Down below
and away the river moves strongly. I fight
an urge to shout greetings to the sloops
going who-knows-where. They’d not hear me
being so far, and many decades, removed.

Closer, rowboats skirt the shore
Iike scattered wading birds. Finally I see,
what seemed an outcropping,
a hand of people out for a jaunt
are but clever brush strokes — blue, gray,
white, yellow — on painted canvas. And I,
vivant,  stand in the gallery’s hushed echo.

Palette

We perceive a world that we own. We lay claim to the things around us by putting our mark on it. By naming it. Did you know that our naming a thing makes it possible for us to see it? I learned that from a cool book called Color: A Natural History of the Palette by Victoria Finlay.

I thought about that book all day as I wandered Sarasota’s Selby Gardens and explored the pearl of a garden and its Andy Warhol exhibit, Flowers in the Factory.  Awash in the myriad hues of flowers, I did not realize I too was my own exhibit — L’Oreal Color Riche Shine 928 Gleaming Plum and Maybelline The Loaded Bolds 830 Violet Vixen.

Intrigue

they watched her
as she moved
they couldn’t help it
dark flame in daytime

all brown planes
symmetry in flesh    
men   women   all
compelled to speak

anything for her
to turn that gaze
of deep earth, speak
royal purple to them

Terra Incognita

Some years ago, I had an e-mail address–with a provider which is now defunct–that was forever inundated with spam. ( I have the nasty suspicion they sold my address to various and sundry unsavory operators.) I discovered the crooked e-mails contained scraps of random prose. It appealed to my inner poet, so I cribbed snippets of prose from those and other spam.

I figured since I couldn’t block them all, I would at least subvert them into a bit of beauty. Transform them into poetry. Years after I began I stumbled across the term–found poem. A new poetic form!

Silk from a sow’s ear.

 

Terra Incognita: a found poem

What should I have been without him? Still
I lost him into the silence like a sloping roof,
as if he were a stranger upon earth,
a revelation of human inconsistency.

Underneath burning glass, he looked strong.
There is something I want to tell you, he said.
Trust me no more, but trust me no less,
than you would an inspired heap of sand.