Poem 77 Revised

And why bother with plants in barrows when
—A clay face furrow, flanked and filthy
Droughts the boughs of brightness—
Dark snow in winter hoarding all along
The absence of spring. What now fills
The evening with ink and begs for sleep
For silence
                  There are plants in barrows, surely,
Whole pantries full of patient blue eggs.
Carving spring from the naked woods
By butter knife takes all winter.
Hooves collecting flecks of color in cupboards
To cushion the salient seeds. Blanche beasts
In blank places stir now despite the snow…
While you were sleeping, while you slept.

Poem 83

An assignment from 18 months ago. describe a painting.

White all white, but white when it pretends to be yellow
With mustard catastrophes
Falling down down until they meet the storm
It begins with spheres. Maybe. If only they could agree
On their trajectory. Burrowing out the blackness
Desperate crimson navy epiphany. Flashing lights.
Scribbling. Over and over until the golden blending
Comes again to new circles, its own length from the base
Where yellow cyan smudging compromises into green
The pathetic furrowing of greys blues and wax
Blacken near the middle where lifeless pearlescent curls
Calm the outer reaches of the canvas.
White all white, but white when it pretends to be yellow
And settles for deep blue or ruby when it cannot be that.
White, the quiet in the corners, compromising colors.

Poem 13

she thought she could be beautiful if only she could
decide what beauty was and was not
afraid of frostbit eyes how the
world wears white and the bodies grey
I’m asking you
for a straight answer maybe you’re afraid
so I can’t have one so be it… so be it
she knew she could decide beauty was
if only with pen and paper
water and pigment—oh—and a brush
but that would be limiting…
that would dry the colors to the leaves wouldn’t it
to paint them why can’t they be everything at once
isn’t that true beauty: potential
the potential to be everything at once
I want all the colors at once I once knew a girl
with an eye for beauty and a body stitched in pain,
discarding a canvas to mix the oils:
if only mixing was beauty enough—
like sex to beget the baby—forget the baby… the potential
of the baby or even the potential of the potential is
beauty enough to keep going don’t worry what reactions may decide keep going
I thought I could be beautiful by watching
those catastrophes I deemed worthy of emulating
when opening my eyes, dilating my own capacity to see
the colors I am blinded, don’t blame the tree
for promising winter with its descent of leaves
don’t fault the sunset for the following evening
trailing all perfection comes the rest…
all the rest resting until life exhales brightness again
                        consider black as nothing less valuable than
the potential for all hues close your eyes
            begin understanding beauty She. Is. Beautiful.
when she stopped imitating the retreating sun
or the swan-song autumn she is beautiful
when she tarried her quest for perfection falling free
to the wind as petals do mourn not
the loss of beauty my love
dress your hands arms and eyes
                        in black to relish this indecisive moment
this place of complacent perfection where
                        anything is possible and only hued
hubris decides.