ou le blé même, nait del gourmandise
where wheat itself is born of want
from “Man Ray” by Paul Eluard
Divorce a thing of color
and perfume from its color and its perfume—the lily.
A composition presented in negative. The white
patterned background of foliage.
Go back further, to the conviction—a certain
amount of contempt for the material is indispensable
to its realization, more or less. More or less,
the violation ensues. The shadowed petals fold back.
The current: lightsource.
The undisturbed ashes of an object
consumed by flames. The blossoms in
various stages of rupture and devotion.
pistil: style and stigma
stamen: filament, anther
In patterned light through moiré
Stripes dark down from breast to belly
This darling adorned in bangles
Her hipless drift, a stroke and curve into shadow
shift to the side : a view from the right
The left hand set on a plate of glass, reflected
sway of wrist, gently sloping line
As if one could actually reach through
one's own fingertips One's own soul
The tempered light of moiré,
Distinct in its fray.
From behind from the right the shadow cast
between the face and the brink. And the
face, plunged in light, holds no somber.
Delineate the fact of her figure
within: peak and tilt of her tint-
ed lips, a shine from the lower;
eyes steadily laze into the rift,
a gaze obscured by the curve of arm muscle. Ease back,
relax into your binder, your wave oyster
grey; submerge your tuck, your self self-framing.
When St. Augustine touches something smooth, he thinks of music
and God. When I think of music and God, it is the gnarls, scores,
and sinewy folds of the walnut. The visionary said of the Capriccio—the piano and the orchestra, two shells of a walnut. (Sweet flesh, pithy shell.) Apparition
of form emerging, busty lady in her bustier. The infraction of light. (The shell
cracks.) (The gnarls emerge.) The upper angles of a drapeless window.
She reaches up, hands splayed, to frame her face
Edge of the fabric, mimetic wall
Edge of the flesh, sympathetic wall
The patterned holes of the mesh
The emergence of the flesh, mosaic
Tiny buttons, or no
Mosaic, hundreds of tiny nail-heads
Edge of exposure, wall of eschatology
A face of tiny nails, a head transformed
Is born of instinct, perhaps.
Or perhaps it is coercion—
tracks, leading on—
Unseen, the steam
or smoke pulls back.
The train bursts forth
blindly heading north by
tracks, captive of some compass.
First, the impact of sound on psyche
and then the dazzling timbre, the slope,
burnished metal, to replicate what is fluid.
Hence contact with the source:
An alloy ball in an alloy ring
In a bowl
In a bowl
edge of discovery, wall of constraint
white band on black stone
entangled white veins on gray stone
bruise on smooth stone
the mar will swell; it will recede
(This poem first appeared in Sonora Review.)
These pages last modified September 2, 2007.