poemimage

Where text meets image. Where the visual intersects the literary. Often posting 1st drafts and editing in (almost) real time.

Category: Poetic prose

It Was a Secret

Giotto painted the stars bleeding out his fingertips.

Caroline Coon did a painting of Christine Keeler

As did Pauline Boty.

I fell into the world without a shaman

Somewhere the world is not yet what it will become.

Photo Charles Hackbarth

I rented a tiny apartment next door to the girl in white shorts

whose brother, or maybe step-father, has a hook for a hand.

I wake to the sound of birds.

My mother worked near a famous intersection during the war –

music in the nightclubs vibrated echoes all night long.

Somebody said he remembered her –

in a flat boat gliding through the reeds.

Oak trees cast shadows across divided pools

designed in the curvilinear shapes of a Celtic eagle’s head –

I remember fish in deep water

I didn’t want to fall in –

going home from Eddie’s house.

Eddie spread catsup on white bread and smoothed it with a butter knife.

The architect said it was a secret.

page 52

I saw a concealed camera. The building owner said, ‘Keep this to yourself. I can give you a better deal.’ They were trying to catch whoever pulled the fire alarms. I took a two-year lease on a bright, spacious studio. New owners took over. My lease expired. They showed me an abandoned studio containing a four-foot high plaster bust of John F. Kennedy. I wrote the artist a letter. His uncle took me to a basement apartment in Brampton. The artist had been living in his mother’s house. Dishes filled the drainer beside the sink. His thin leather coat hung, buttoned, on a wire hanger. Augustin Filipovic won the Mayor of Rome’s Award. His art embellished the cover of Canada’s Centennial Book. Augustin looked like a movie star, wearing a tuxedo & waltzing in the spotlight with a pretty girl in white.

from my book Meme-Noir (2019)

Mirror Mirrors

2 GIFs

I went to bed with one sock on.

Walt Whitman decided to bury the sparrow.

A suggestion of Janus, before & forever following

the ignition of neural pathways.

A suggestion of Raven dipping her beak

in the soldered inkwell

casting a spell, perhaps.

Been drinking coffee like a chain smoker

this moment crashes into the next.

I have been slowly working my way through Marina Tsvetaeva’s ‘Art in the Light of Conscience – Eight Essays on Poetry’ and read yesterday about Zhukovsky’s translation of Goethe’s Erlking. There is a child, on a horse, held in his father’s arms… All new to me. I borrowed the image and added that bit about ‘the only city’ and related the child’s emotions to String Theory. To not do justice to Tsvetaeva’s essay titled Two Forest Kings I’ll just call it mesmerizing.

Guardian Spirit

His appearance gnarled & guardian spirit-like. Or she. Or it. My first blog posting since the computer crash left me with an uncooperative faded & dated tablet to work with. I found a recommended refurbished MAC store, across town, near where where I once walked the dog. The dog I haven’t seen in a long time. Circumstances change and life continues marching. Or standing there throughout four seasons with wooden round owlish eyes. Or sinking into the underground, the underworld, gnarled roots entertaining coincidence and circumstance. Blooming & shedding the bloom. Alarmed. Observant. Older. Amused. Walking the dog and not walking the dog.

‘Miro and Klee Influence a Painting’ by Tom Gannon Hamilton

Yes and the form once liberated from the laws of physics

and the conventions of decor can create its own ungrounded, untethered place

in the viewer’s imagination…

stimulating synaptic firing and creating new neuropathways

with much the same vitality as lyrical music and dance.

The discovery of, as well as through, Klee and Miro

thus frees the apprehending subject from the representational,

its associative shackles on the one hand, while on the other,

offering refuge

from the psychological desolation many people suffer

when confronted by pure abstraction.

My mother, forever painting under great tutelage:

Arthur Lismer, Kryunsic, Toppham-Brown,

introduced me to both Klee and Miro

before my soul-crushing experience of grade school.

I found as well in Calder’s mobiles, a similar approach to the form,

at once animated and authentic.

I like in your work, the agreement between image delineation and colour choices.

I too am drawn to the language of blue, an entire lexicon unto itself.

Its relationship to white and near-whites — eggshell, plaster, bone

in juxtaposition with material expressions of light such as mustard and yellow ochre,

generate a synergy of comfort for the viewer so the eye feels at home and lingers,

as one might on a desert retreat.

Founder/Curator/Host of the Toronto Urban Folk Art Salon, TG Hamilton has been published in numerous Canadian and international lit.reviews/anthologies. His poem suite El Marillo won 1st prize in the 2018 Big Pond Rumours Chapbook Contest; his book Panoptic (Aeolus House 2018) was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and the Gerald Lampert Award; The Mezzo Soprano Dines Alone was selected for the distinguished John B. Lee Signature Series (Hidden BrookPress 2020). Dr. Hamilton’s MA Thesis (Inside the Words 1984) and PhD dissertation (A Poetics of Possibility, 2001) reflect his lifelong passion for poetry.

Painting by Steven McCabe, done the other day. Water-soluble graphite pencil & acrylic paint + watercolour paint in an 8.5″ X 11″ sketchbook. The Naples Yellow turned ochre-ish blending with graphite.

 

 

Meme-Noir by Steven McCabe

Since my last activity on this blog

A year and a half ago

I edited a novel (now @ 2nd draft),

And wrote & edited Meme-Noir

(Quattro Books, 2019).

Meme-Noir, as you might guess, is a play on memoir. 

I emailed myself stories and anecdotes

Over an eight year period.

During discussions with the publisher (then),

For now the company has been sold,

I experienced a moment of revelation.

Luciano Iacobelli looked over my first ten pages

And said,

‘No, no, no, no, no.’

‘No theme, no thesis,

Just give me the puzzle pieces.’

He gestured with his hands and said,

‘Constellations!’

I was left to interpret ‘constellations’ as I wished.

I came up with the idea of vignettes comprising constellations.

Each vignette in a constellation

Has one key word in common.

Each series of vignettes

Covers various time periods,

Within a constellation.

So, it’s a non-linear timeline.

I was fortunate to receive two excellent blurbs

For the back cover

by Dr. Jean Raffa & Pierre L’Abbe.

In weeks to come I will share excerpts from Meme-Noir

And once again, post poetic texts by exciting authors

Accompanied by my visual art.

Thank you for your visit.

PS. If there are advertisements on this page,

And there might be,

I will deal with that soon.