Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Waking Up Picasso
There is so much vocabulary involved
some people spend a lifetime on it-
I just woke up Picasso
from my two month coma
since then I’ve rarely put down a brush:
or stopped to think if it’s a good idea
painting everything in my house
walls, of course-
fill with landscapes and portraits
I listen to music to set the tone
and the rhythm
much has been written about color theory
from cobalt blue to alizarin crimson-
there’s a bright, bright yellow too,
I can’t remember the name
black and white can’t be made
by mixing other colors:
add white and you lighten,
black and you darken
though many artists don’t use black at all
fabric can be painted on-
curtains, chairs, pillowcases-
tight is bright
loose weaves let the paint seep through,
reduce the intensity of colors
wrinkles wreak havoc with a design
but that can be interesting too.
when painting on wood-
tables, bookcases, window facings-
I use an acrylic polymer
containing at least 40% water
to raise and swell the wood grain
flaws create mystery,
how they melt into the pattern
paint will peel from metal-
appliances, magnet boards, steel doors-
the more layers you apply
and scratch away
it becomes an old billboard shedding its paper,
showing all the bits beneath.
glass enamel is best for glass
but requires firing in a kiln.
transparent acrylics will get you there
without the fire-
windows, mirrors, glass cabinet doors.
the carpet presents a challenge
till I decide to drip and drop
like Jackson Pollock,
smearing and spattering,
shaking glossy oils right off my hand
I ‘m in the toilet
when I suddenly notice
the smooth white surface
of the bathtub,
surely the purest canvas in my house
I call the paint store
and ask the girl
what do you use to paint on porcelain?
she didn’t know but would call me back
the silver faucets will do okay
but I picture a green whirlpool
circling the drain
you have to make a paste
when she rang back
mix the fine pigments with mineral oil,
but first apply a medium
consisting of copaiba,
lavender and clove oils
to make it dry quickly and keep
but by then I'm on to other rooms,
chasing an image around the room
or rattling out rhymes
that only seem to annoy people
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
Monday, March 08, 2010
Staying in the Lines
Red lights start to blink
in my rear view mirror and
what if I could put blue
everywhere red now stands,
would it make a difference?
into every meeting, presses
its significance. What if all the world
were a fresh coloring book--
white pages/ black lines
and nothing more?
I could grab a crayon, dress
that cop in a red clown suit--
far better too
if I could flip back a few pages
and, without overrunning the edges,
make the corpse bleed blue.
I don’t understand
the revolving door.
Moving, always moving
in one place.
There is comfort
in an open door,
a closed door--
knowing just where I stand,
one side or the other
But here I turn
forgetting where I got in,
unsure when to exit.
Okay, I’m an idiot.
I find I’m transfixed
by the man two slots
ahead of me.
He is both fat and flimsy,
by a bow tie, a ghost
between sheets of glass.
I can’t decide if I follow him
or if he is following me.
All that exists we imagine,
the great circle of the earth tilted
on magnetic lines,
minute organisms that dip and bob
in a glass of water-
all either too large or too small
to examine without instruments. Our fingers
can’t peel back mountains
to extract the molten peach pit
at the core nor charm bacteria
into a snake dance with the songs they drum.
that we move along parallels,
tropics that never converge,
in its own symbolic power to inscribe
the surface of the earth with its existence.
that we wind like thread around a spool,
strands of singularity, each
its own color and texture.
We imagine that it matters
what we think,
what we do,
what we say. We believe in ourselves
like geography, like science,
something written in a book--
Sunday, March 07, 2010
Friday, March 05, 2010
Poets Should Not Wed Poets
In Santa Fe, all the downtown buildings
are pink adobe. Some two-story
geometrics with arched windows, some--
like the McDonald’s--
squat, rosy boxes beside logo-bearing signs.
It’s all very picturesque at first,
so visually poetic.
But I wonder do the buildings tire
of each other,
search in vain for steel and glass
or a tiny white cottage,
even a rusty mobile home?
Balance beside a Canadian lake,
those who speak
and those who listen.
and the stone grottos they lap against.
and the bears that prowl amongst them.
and the coffee-black sky that accepts it.
Poets should not wed poets,
should not struggle with metaphors
for garbage night.
Much better to tune ears to casual wisdom
and write it down
without fear of infringement.
Thursday, March 04, 2010
Monday, March 01, 2010
In the mirror first I see myself
then the streaks of Windex Mama left behind.
On the third look,
I see her staring back
from another room , the cat under the bed,
the way that picture looks
Today is the first time I’ve noticed
that everything is a tableau
worth writing down.
In the kitchen I arrange the objects
on the formica tabletop.
Salt and pepper shakers shaped
like Mickey and Minnie, a sticky syrup bottle,
Mama’s plastic plates with the pink rose
in the very center.
Our turquoise vinyl couch
always squeaks when I sit down
and unfold the funny papers.
The cartoons are Black and White,
the blurbs in balloon boxes.
Outside lawnmowers hum,
kids glide by on two wheel bikes.
The summer air is breathing peace.
We have not yet become human metaphors
for mass consumption.
I am no longer certain if I am there
or here looking back.
I see myself in the mirror first
and then the world turned backwards.