Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Picasso’s Old Neighbor

June 24, 2009


The Museu Picasso in Barcelona has a featured exhibit of Kees Van Dongen’s work though September. Here is a Flickr browse from the museum’s website–it shows visitors in the galleries, the reception, and installation, all with the pictures on the wall or headed there. Van Dongen (self portrait, above) and Picasso worked together at Le Bateau-Lavoir in Montmartre a hundred or so years ago.


The Painted Word

December 30, 2008


What I saw before me was the critic-in-chief of The New York Times saying…in short: frankly, these days, without a theory to go with it, I can’t see a painting.~ Tom Wolfe

Pierre Bonnard predicted he’d appear
before the artists of our century
encircled in a wing-like filigree
of colored light. A mystic chevalier
exuding his incalculable pallet
as a benediction, he’d survey
the produce of the studios that day,
the fruit of every flashing brush and mallet.

He’d find out there’s a ton of shit to read.
A lexicon of abstracts to peruse,
a currency of theory and critique,
and creedos tacked to canvases with screws.
To glean a universal through the screed,
he’d need to book the hotel for a week.
Painting:Bonnard Appears, John Opie, Oil on cavas, 42″ x 69″

Through a Glass Darkly

November 25, 2008

I’m planning, you see, to try to confine
myself to the truth
–Ingmar Bergman

Contemporary masterworks run backward-spoken.
Wrapped around the axel mast of Western thought,
the images that come across are badly broken

fractals on a monitor, a raft of token
rhymes. It’s everything the Penny Public bought.
It’s temporary poetry. So backward-spoken

into open mics from Athens to Hoboken
flow the line of hooks, the words we haven’t caught
and images we come across. So badly broken

roll our showboats on the rivers that we soak in.
Mississippi confluences, polyglot
conventions at the Theater von Hintersprochen.

Who loves a wall that keeps us from the killer joke in
foreign film? The lexicon of light is fraught
with images that come across so badly broken

that we drink in semi-darkness from the oaken
cask. We spew it back, an undigested haute
couture, a tendency in art quite backward, spoken
to an image on a cross so badly broken.

The Consolation of Modern Art

August 28, 2008

My daughters trash this den with magazines
declaiming “Brad Holds Twins to Naked Chest!”
on covers wracked with boobs and candid scenes
of “Jessica Before and After,” breasts
as billowy without the extra weight
as with. In Hollywood, a “Pleasure Dome”
doth “Puffy” Combs decree, and on page 8:
“A Magic Moments Feature: Twins Go Home!”
I reach for Richardson’s biography,
Picasso: The Triumphant Years, beneath
a well-thumbed April Star® Mammography,
and flip through cubist nudes and airbrushed teeth
contorting on a private beach at Cannes
with “Tearful Pleas to Bail-Out Ed McMahon!”

Gandhi Statue, Union Square, NYC

June 29, 2008

Oil on canvas 36″ x 24″


All the southwest corner knew of Gandhi
Hidden statue aura blue of Gandhi

Saturday before the bars are open
Clear-eyed walk in the milieu of Gandhi

Union Square is sunblind sky cathedral
Circle light is also true of Gandhi

Black or bronze or green I don’t remember
Deli roses? Ho! The shoe of Gandhi!

Sundress shifts a pink carnation nipple
Cymbals plink Bougarabou of Gandhi

Portrait glass enlightens incandescent
Paint from pencil lines I drew of Gandhi

Color upstate trucks of fruit and flowers
Petal rictus, ah virtù of Gandhi

May 2, 2008

Uncracking a Cryogenic Obit

March 27, 2008

Arthur C. Clarke, 16 December 1917 – 19 March 2008

Club Night

January 13, 2008


On the George Bellows painting

Emerging wet-on-wet from black to blood,
The fighter tangles, pounds into the light
Of his opponent, arching in a flood
Of shadow and cigar smoke as the fight
has drawn a club in force, tuxedo-clad.
And yes, that urchin in the foreground, head
Foreshortened, turns to us and laughs. A bad
Banana, him. We’ll watch the crowd instead,
Where clubmen in their truest nature rise
In slaps of pancake carbon black and zinc
To orchestrate the background as a blunt
Ballet of Swing-an-Arm-Before-You-Think.
And some fall out, and those we recognize,
Delighted as that bastard in the front.

Still Life with Mackerel

August 3, 2007


Three mackerel look back at me
Forlorn, neglected, oh-so-slightly crazed,
And petrified against all atrophy

In knifed-in oils. If those eyes could see,
They’d see their nemesis. Amazed,
Three mackerel look back at me

The way they always do. “Philosophy
Be damned,” the fishes say, forever glazed
And petrified. “Against all atrophy

You thought to catch us back to life and free
Us to an endless stream of Saturdays.”
Three mackerel look back at me

Like albatrosses. “How’s the family?”
Neglected, I admit. The bastards phrased
That perfectly. Against all atrophy

I’ve scumbled at some artist’s legacy
Of living things, and look at what I’ve raised–
Three mackerel looking back at me,
A palimpsest in crusts, a fucking trophy.


May 10, 2007


Hopper paints monotonous haiku, empty
bedrooms, light and curtains in midday breezes,
awkward figures over and over, surely
getting at something

pure and true. America. Midnight diners,
tiny brownstone Brooklyn apartments state his
premise. Spotlit aliens touch the rigid
hand of a student.

Ochre walls in cadmium daylight build a
gabled house suggesting the Bates Hotel in
Psycho. Railroad sidings and lonely phone poles
resonate longing.

He endows interior landscape: T-shirt
zombies, grasses rendered in opaque yellow.
Collie sniffs the whippoorwill’s sundown echo.
Infinite distance.