poemimage

Where text meets image. Where the visual intersects the literary.

Month: April, 2014

Grass by John W. Sexton

eye 2

Along my flanks edges of me are cool

in the shadows of the trees. The rest of me

is out in the sun, brightly green. I’m green

everywhere, except when I’m not; but even in

the withering of me there’s a memory

of green.

27agrassy

My name is synonymous with green

and like that colour I’m innocence itself.

Everything comes to me for everything comes

to the floor, and I’m the floor of everywhere.

birded grass
Even beneath the sea you’ll find a version

of me. But most of the time you’ll find me here,

wherever you happen to be. I’ll be waiting. I remain

here for everyone. It is said I cover the dead, and actually

I do. But I much prefer the living.

12aeye 212a

And the living I live

for most is my darling love. She steps barefoot onto me,

walks my length. I feel myself cooling under each step.

Then she undresses and begins to lie down.

First I feel the shadow of her shape, and then

her shape. I could grow into this. Usually I do.

ocean lawn

 Previously published in Census 2 – From the collection The Offspring of the Moon, Salmon Poetry

eye 212aeye 2
John W. Sexton’s mind was poured into his body in 1958; since then his life has been dedicated to poetry.

egg four

The photo of the grass I wove into some of my digital compositions is from Wikipedia Commons. Credit Marcus Obal, 2007. I am manipulating this image under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2

lighter

Titus Andronicus/Iphigenie

personal beauty and charm joseph beuys edition

I wrote a line about beauty being the beginning of silence

a pyramid of soundlessness above a white bed

classic beauty page two

An intuitive synchronicity guided me

as I arranged unrelated

photographs of Joseph Beuys with a book from the 50s

4th composite

The idea of Greek drapery

flowed into

an action/performance:

Titus Andronicus/Iphigenie

media x

It was Earth Day

cloud x jpg

I imagined clicking ‘like’ on a picture of a cat

cat light

and the cat saying

Oh 

spare me

dark contrast xnew green

Seriously

spare me…

full book x

And

Joseph Beuys

calming the

creature

small face x

With an

explanation

of sound

no seriously spare me x

How

the simple act

of

perceiving vibrations

4 again

Creates

a white bed

glass

&

 revolution anew

eye looking

Casting

obsolete paradigms

aside.

partial

One of Joseph Beuys’ most powerful performances was Titus Andronicus/Iphigenie, performed May-June, 1969 in the Theater am Turm in Frankfurt, Germany for Experimenta 3: http://ropac.net/exhibition/iphigenie

eye looking

Iphigenia is a daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra in Greek mythology.

eye looking

Photographs of Joseph Beuys performance: Joseph Beuys foundation. Personal Beauty and Charm published by The Homemaker’s Encyclopedia Inc. 1952. I do not own the copyright any of these photographs. I have refashioned them under fair use provisions to create a new work for non-commercial purposes of parody or commentary.

eye lookingcloser up

Pilots Nobody Believes (in homage to Gabriel Garcia Marquez)

e

Thinning my studio

d

I discover your unlined face looking into the future,

p

sketched with charcoal on lightweight paper.

partial face

My memory of you

totemic

a weak pulse

k

sealed away like a forgotten dimension.

the half the half

I drop clear, blue, plastic bags to the sidewalk

i copy

like fallen

darkly

sections of sky,

fadeout 1 copy

reported by pilots

c

nobody believes.

a

“Wherever they might be they always remember that the past was a lie, that memory has no return, that every spring gone by could never be recovered, and that the wildest and most tenacious love was an ephemeral truth in the end.”

― Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

t

A (forgotten) charcoal drawing digitally contemplated.

fadeout 2fadeout 2fadeout 2

 

Like burning coals nine bullets glide…

in this lossI do not love thee

The poem you see

is not the poem

I see,

intones

a merchant

(of some privilege)

in Upper Canada.

new black whiteI do not love thee 4bb

His ruffled sleeves

stained

with grease and

gravy.

I do not love thee 2y9

Your poem

has been singed

by musket powder,

or perhaps

a mishandled lantern,

he mutters,

eating and drinking.

Pausing to smoke from a packed horn pipe.

that red nightlost boy

And more eating

and drinking and

striking the flint

again.

this stainI do not love thee 3

 My poem,

on the other 

hand,

(jabbing with the fork)

 buckles and heaves,

labouring

beneath the fruits of commerce.

Utilitarian in its task.

How opposite to your

verse:

I do not love thee 11I do not love thee 2

Stanzas fallen,

motionless

on the floor of an electric carriage.

I do not love thee ww

A volley of

projectiles silencing

the pocket-knife

you gestured with.

A strange brew

of calamity

 brought upon

yourself.

I do not love thee 2yyI do not love thee 4

My eyes are closed

upon your plight,

I do not love thee

or thy sacrifice.

black and white drama colourizedtwodno

*

One late summer night last July, 18 year old Sammy Yakim commandeered and emptied a streetcar in Toronto while waving around a small knife and holding his genitals. He was surrounded by a bevy of police officers and shot dead. One of the nine bullets might have missed. Then they tasered him.

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I created a Sammy Yakim – Mayor Rob Ford (as merchant of Upper Canada) visual dialogue depicting ‘the chain of office’  as representative of corporate social values having little or no compassion.

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Upper Canada (b.1791, the predecessor of modern Ontario) was considered by Reformers (see Upper Canada Rebellion) as a rigged game with ‘haves’ and ‘have nots.’  To contextualize this social dynamic: Sammy Yakim would not have been accorded the privilege afforded those with position or connections to the establishment of that time.

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Could his life have been valued any less, anywhere, any time?

*

The idea for titling this post Like burning coals nine bullets glide came from poetic verse in  ‘The U.E.; A Tale of Upper Canada’ by William Kirby:

Like burning coals two rifle bullets glide!

Page 170

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723px-1855_Colton_Map_of_Upper_Canada_or_Ontario_-_Geographicus_-_Ontario2-colton-1855

The Colton Map of Upper Canada (1855)

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