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This poem begins in this corner,
where barely awake and naked
I stand at the top of the stairs,
a bas-relief against a book-encased wall,
and watch you leave for the day.

You may ask: how does the nude
fit into the contemporary setting?
And Cézanne thought apples
were the most difficult fruit.

Remember the year I stopped eating apples?
Remember the summer I kept bringing home
abandoned chairs? A lucid Vincent wrote
to his brother: I have tried
to express the terrible passions
of humanity by means of red and green.
His self-portrait now hangs in the Fogg.
Remember the summer I had to walk
to the Lake just to feel anything at all?

When I descend late in the afternoon
there's a blue plate of heart-
shaped cookies, there's an orange
on the kitchen counter. I notice a crack
in the seam of the ceiling, a spider
vein on the inside of my knee.
What a still still life!

The rest of the day is a slanted floorboard.
The rest of the day is the color of absinthe.
Note the personal and detached attitude.
Note the application of arbitrary color.
The tilted perspective.
This poem is all surface.
You may stand where you choose.
This poem has no vanishing point.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
mystic_savage
Nov. 15th, 2009 10:13 pm (UTC)
I've never read this before -- it's wonderful. Do you know the poem that goes "She'd thought the s tudio would sweep itself/no dust upon the furniture of love..." ? I think it's Adrienne Rich. This poem reminds me of it.
createdestiny
Nov. 16th, 2009 02:16 am (UTC)
I don't know that one. I tried to find it just now, but had no luck. That line She'd thought the studio would sweep itself reminds me of another great poem by Olena Kalytiak Davis, called "It's The Shape Of A Fork." I'll post it here: http://community.livejournal.com/theysaid/1564644.html


Edited at 2009-11-19 01:35 am (UTC)
welfy
Nov. 15th, 2009 11:51 pm (UTC)
I like this.
lcurtis
Nov. 16th, 2009 10:48 pm (UTC)
when art is art
How colorful, thank you for introducing Olena to us.
mutedepiphany
Nov. 18th, 2009 05:45 pm (UTC)
I love this, thank you for sharing.

Can you recommend any other poetry that is in this same style?
createdestiny
Nov. 19th, 2009 01:31 am (UTC)
Sharon Olds comes to mind, especially her book Gold Cell. There's on lj comm where people post other people's poetry: theysaid. I posted another by Olena Davis over there. They have good tags, too, so you can find some poems by Sharon Olds there I'm sure.

I'll let you know if I can think of any other poets who write in a similar style....
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )