Category: Art


Liberating Art

Woman with a Parasol Claude Monet, 1875

He stares straight through me
half-seraph, angel-dusted anointed son
haloed in the afternoon light

She is turning, as she has, toward me
time and time again, so often her expressions
are blurred, my whirlwind of love

Halcyon moments blown away by the endless
march of years, yet immortalized – in that present
I was reflecting on the sultry, seductive colors

Of Algeria, the hot breath of horses under
an eternal azure sky where we played
at soldiers because my father was at war

With his own inner drive to order, invading
my artistic sensibilities as if they were his
divine right to claim, a legacy perhaps

I went to war to defend my right to express
share impressions in paint with the larger world
to be blown by inspiration’s sweet kiss
on the breezes of an elevated life,
far from the tempests of destruction
the obliterations of time, the blustery bullies
that cannot win in the end.

A tribute to Monet linked to Dverse Poets Pub for the March Wind Ekphrastic. Monet’s father did not want him be an artist and tried to bribe him away from the profession by promising to get him out of mandatory military service. Please join us!

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Painting of Shangri-La (somewhere near Gangkhar Puensum) by Anna Montgomery

Orchids imbued with angelic authority
shiver a quantum flux thunder-clap
manifesting the Himalayan goddess

she unfurls, an unbounded poetry,
untamable dragon eyes spark
spiral galaxies of linguistic delight

She sighs her secrets
dancing melodies along a liminal threshold
azure moon-glow midnights of another dimension

This is a Quadrille for a wonderful prompt at dVerse that requires the word dragon and only 44 words total. This poem is a melded and greatly truncated version of two previous poems: Lexical Shangri-La: Here be dragons and Lexical Shangri-La: Prosody of Blue Poppies.

Rain

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Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0

Miniature in her picture book
there before her writ large
in the poor light of Tate Britain
as she’d stepped in from the rain
along the Thames

He transformed experience into art
Graham-Dixon led her to expect a transcendence
she was incapable of seeing through Rain
drowned by her own pedestrian concerns
that reclaimed anorexia as a
decadent destruction by control

London had smashed her brother in those
limbo years as it was threatening to crush her
under the weight of PTSD’s shock and awe
campaign of vice gripping horrors
on constant display

Could Hodgkin really remake the world?
Arrogate to himself the powers of divinity
to save her suffocating soul
from the pounding rain
and dark halls of art’s tomb?

The intimacy was unbearable –
all British glower in the half-light
of Turner’s strained, transformative glow
She was pushing against the spring
of a bear trap, his tightly wound
violence of indifference and passivity,
trying to find the romance to transmute
the artist into an avenging demigod

Onliest Thing

Angels and Their Horses, 1985
Angels and Their Horses, 1985 (c) 2017  Estate of Purvis Young, Artists Right Society

for Purvis Young

communing without an intercessor
in an abandoned Overtown alley
calling wild horses of liberation
emancipating angels in a sea

that dances waves on the color line
blurring its harsh boundaries
to reveal the humanizing petition
of an autodidactic sinner

singing his redemption song

Forming Mortals

PrometheusPrometheus depicted in a sculpture by Nicolas-Sébastien Adam 1762

Prometheus by Nicolas-Sébastien Adam, 1762 (Louvre) – Public Domain

here begins her
soliloquy in a minor key
a complex subtext
contortion of the plot

he shouts defense of natural law
impulses of his sexual proclivities
mistaking law for justice
longstanding psycho-logic trick

incestuous gods revenge
apocalypse of politics
the tragic Titan fallout
of an autoerotic tryst

 

*The title is from Goethe’s Prometheus: ‘Here sit I, forming mortals’

Hellen Frankenthaler Madame Butterfly

Madame Butterfly by Helen Frankenthaler ©2000 Collection National Gallery of Australia

 

Frankenthaler pours mountains and sea
salt-stain wave of unbridled experimentation
pathfinder in the flow of a quadrillion connections

unfathomable neural networks alight
electrochemical cognate comprehension
of yet unknowable heights

entering elaborative flow, fluid intelligence
a sublime interiority of creativity
color fields of liminal poetics

realms she’s unable to disparage
reaching an optimal state
of courage, merging awareness

with action in rapturous parallel processes
lyric soak stain, abstract expressionist
dialogue of landscape and emotion

art birthed through her inventive interplay
breakthrough paradox: immediacy of motion
mimicking the spontaneity of (her) nature

intimate picture of a singular day
impossibly operatic and poignant
of inked butterfly promises never fulfilled

Detail from Denatured Structure by Anna Montgomery

pink magnolia
petals cascade
within the space
between the cast-
iron bed frame
and moments of passion,
my semiotic erotica

existing in the same
space as I read an
American Hybrid
Anthology – Super
Target parking lot
transmissions capture
antipoetic phrasing

immersed in disruption
of a linear, temporal path
illogicality seems actionable,
implicitly possible,
delicious even

fragments rupture an
empirical process
while immanence
revolves/devolves
in Google searches
missives in ether
petitions to digital
gods, binary masters

memory terraforms
another exoplanet
spiral galaxy
mimetic minds
contextualize
world building
half comprehensions
poems unraveling
in space-time

microcosmic bees
swarming my hive
incinerate the wasp
translucent frogs croak
a requiem . . . codification
stitches these seams

here in the room
where myths are born
Hypatia calculates an
elegant proof while
Sappho presages
a papal decree

all poetry is reduced
to ash, each word burns
away its discovery
this line will soon
alight upon a zephyr
carried to the sea

all is transformation
in a universe of energy
conservation, an unending
causal chain unfolding
from the first shift force
directing matter as
particles coalesced

within an atmosphere
of censure I carved an
ivory key, securing
esoteric runes –
legacy of what
was once lost

D'Ranged 25.6.7482 for Camilla D'Errico

D’Ranged 25.6.7482 for Camilla D’Errico

She posited a postmodern pout
a mechanized quandary
intellectual/artistic/philosophic inquiry
cyborg helmethead being
weighing on her mind

an anarchy of manga tangles
speaking unknowable truth to power
she embraces complexity
in matrices of binary contradictions
ambiguous fractured metaphysics

for a meta-human world
deconstructing her constructs
before they’re even subroutines
in an act of poetic/semiotic liberty
swirling identity round cyberspace

in an endless loop
tracing a track of thought
self-files corrupted by an
infinite stream of data input
she spins round the code

0110100101110000101010

 

I’m hosting MTB today at dVerse Poets Pub where we’re experimenting! Please join me.

Psyche Revived by Eros' Kiss by Antonio Canova

Psyche Revived by Eros’ Kiss by Antonio Canova

Eros falls from a sunlit chariot
into a sea of destruction
adrift in the salt-sting
of an inner exile

golden wings beating
swift as the whirlwinds
of a tempest roaring
melancholic around him

loosing breath and bearing
his desire broken upon
the craggy shore
he pines for her
transforming love

butterfly wings alight
liberate her longing
she dreams of moonlit nights
the salt-sting of his kiss
ravaging tempest of bliss

transformational encounter
a consummate release
his true nature
centers her in the
splendor of their love

reunited after trials
wounded and contrite
she is awareness
wed to his glory

enlightened cosmic sight
immortal soul revealed

she breathes life into the circle
he lights the internal flames
forever entwined in flight
iridescent wings lift lovers
to yet unknowable heights

Cenotaph

Willem De Kooning

Willem De Kooning

poems like Snyder’s lost ponies
gallop down shining sand dunes
all heat and sweat and neighing
great stallions of imagination
humbled in embodiment
in motion, huffing, striving
toward the blue-dark horizon

frenetic birds flit at the edge of sky
stencils against the thread of clouds
unable to escape the picture
painting landscapes of loss
singing songs of lament
at the walls of the white monastery

within the hobbled monk chants
breaks the night with his strange descant
there is nothing to accept
prostrate surrender of an endless ritual
rhythm chime of an inner bell

words cascade, an avalanche of lost meaning
roaring down the scarred mountain
felling ancient trees, thundering echoes
through fire-kissed meadows
gods hover at Duncan’s margins of thought
here in the hinterlands of a long forgotten tale