Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Cutting from Vogel and the White Bull-On Images

Looking at the painting across the room Elisa realized it was starting to come together. The multi-colored background that surrounded the man’s head looked like the patterns in the Persian rugs that lay on the floor of her mother’s home. It was odd how painting worked. She had started with a white canvas that she seasoned with a red wash. Then, she took a white crayon and drew the figure as precisely as she could. At this point, her painting looked realistic. She then began using white and black paints to define the subject’s physicality. From then on it was a matter of adding paint to create the emotional expressions she was trying to convey to the viewer. She did not call the images, but they came nonetheless, unbidden to the surface of her thought and found themselves upon the canvas. The images inhabited the four corners of the canvas, held in by the framing device. Sometimes one side was stronger than another. Imperceptibly, as she continued to work, the other side eventually grew in strength and a balance was maintained. It was through this process the images emerged and became plastic, more of a sculpture than a drawing. She loved the physicality of the work. The painting grew until a moment arrived when the work of art was complete. Sometimes, however, the work did not grow. Something went wrong and the creation took a wrong turn. At that moment, she would have to stop and scrape the paint from the canvas and begin again. It was usually a fault of consciousness. The error occurred usually at some moment when she began to think of the painting intellectually.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


I am Traum
the raven of the tar pit.
I trapped
the blond lion.
I transfix him so long
in my avid attraction
that his yellow fur
falls and fades
into the sticky softness
of my flickering flesh.
His bones sink
into my somber soul
and settle like iron
shavings below. Someday
the pit will bubble
up a bone
or a fossilized feather.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Traum II

On Mars field at dusk
below the seven hills,
the trainer whistles
and a brace of twin retrievers
come, bounding
across dried winter grass,
their tongues lolling
from their black
and yellow snouts,
idiot’s evidence
of their subservience.
He throws a rubber ball
and they chase it.
First the yellows take it,
but the blacks roll them
onto their backs and steal
the red token.
They bite and growl,
tumble and gambol,
as the trainer scowls.
He whistles and snaps
his fingers in command.
They jump in obedience;
after all they are dogs.
This is not the end:
he carries a mixed pup
in his arms, while an assassin
waits on the Aventine.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Revenant V

Her blue veins
mark her parchment skin
like tattoo ink.
Her long fingers
press through tender grass,
stretching toward nests
of yellow straw.
The red hens brood
over brown eggs,
hidden on the border
of forest and field.
She hurries;
the fox and snake
arrive at dusk.
The hens flutter
as she lifts
them and spirits
away their eggs.
When the snake
appears, she calls
and he comes with hoe
and chops the copperhead
like cotton.
He hangs the skin
from the fence
as a warning
to the fox,
a premonition.