poemimage

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

Category: prose poetry

It is Not a Willow Green but Empty

It is not a willow green but empty cascading

the lady

pausing to catch her breath

pulls aside her buggy bulging with groceries

so I can pass chest deep in freezing waters

wearing a necklace of antelope teeth.

photo S. Mccabe, Toronto

It is not a willow green but empty crouched like guardian stalactites

the lady said we all make one big mistake

look at me now

I cannot walk to the store

mountains of ice destroy the great cities.

Willow beside the Ashbridge Estate

It is not a willow green but empty burning like a sacred candle nine minutes north

I brush my hand against green leaves

on the less-dignified bush mere shrubbery

encroaching upon the sidewalk & bleeding on strangers

I said green arrives each spring

in oceans of hope

the heart balances the head

one wonders why.

It is not a willow green but empty shimmering like a waterfall

aiming directed breath like a mastodon

she inhales tottering

she said the shadow words green but empty

I reach my hand into the city bush green but empty…

stretch my fingers into spaces large enough to fill a universe

stems, twisted branches and shadows

impersonate an atom

a pearl in deep space.

It is not a willow green but empty looking straight ahead like a god

we dance at each other stomping

I cast shadows over the sidewalk

my heart balancing my head

are you a poet

in cave language her shadow replies

I say only it is the truth

pulling her buggy into a mist made of pearls

pulling

one big mistake.

Alchemy Begins in the Rain

I stand in the rain

(alchemy begins)

curving like a river

(sparkling like radioactive particles)

loosening dried flecks of ink

swallow and

(flow through the manuscript factory)

curvilinear like a small and large intestine

sweeping & twisting

on television

experts prove it never happened

dance the paper airplane dance

launch-jab pantomime

surround a plaster statue

launch-jab pantomime

Julius Caesar

spies a peacock bobbing his moon-of-Jupiter head

spitting ‘Vox clamantis in deserto

the conspiracy unfolds’

a small and large intestine swallows the light of the sun

I dance myself into a golden egg.

A Sailor in Hamburg (1&2)

The quiet sailor watches the Beatles play in the Kaiserkeller bar in 1960.

He listens to a song in time out of sync

composed for the Abbey Road album

in 1969.

A song born for the future –

silently asleep

in the silence of crystal stars.

He listens above the open sea

climbing a ladder made of coal

rising from the depths –

dreaming itself

into a structure

aimed into the obsidian sky.

paper

The thing about working on paper is that one touches-feeling the otherworldly textures of this very world. A reminder of the gift, the circle, one has been given.

One can imagine glimmers of this very world.

As tree roots signal compassion & nurture while snaking out and spiralling into the secret dark soil. As their compassion reverberates like ripples in water.

As a forest of vertical bodies reach skyward. As they etch circular rings in their wooden hearts. As they record circles in orbit around the sun. A living symbol of experience. The experience of this earth.

The thing about working on paper is that one performs mark-making enveloped within sacred heaving breath. As delicate breath-shadows dance beneath sunlight falling like holograms. Like a ballet. The story of archetypal tree as mother. How easy to forget.

As paper absorbs watery emotions, even eyesight – like daylight, starlight or candlelight, received intuitively. Quietly the visceral eclipse. How easy to forget.

One can imagine the tree like an iceberg with secret rooms. Multi-dimensional and unknown. Concealed.

Offering utilitarian circle & body. Of this very world. Like an animal. Like sky. Like an eye. One does not forget. As this very world does not forget. As the animal, sky, and eye do not forget.

Bird Vision, a painting on textured watercolour paper

Harrison Street (3 GIFs)

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A summer art project: Sculpture, ‘The Cosmos’ created with youth. You are seeing half of the sculpture. Plaster gauze, rope, acrylic paint. Also balloons. I don’t know why exactly I superimposed this image over a photograph of Harrison Street. Perhaps curvilinear shapes address time. Or the shapes are somehow ancestral. Perhaps such ‘continual vegetal designs’ balance the angularity of buildings while adding human dimensions of roundness and multi-dimensionality. I don’t know. It just seemed the thing to do.

Grey Concrete Sidewalk

I finished four deadlines yesterday I began in February when I finished my 33′ X 5′ painting on paper. Now I can do something about promoting this painting.

final section, Druidica, 2022, Steven McCabe, 33′ X 5′ – mixed media on paper

The amount of work I have done in the last year makes me feel half my age.

I remember when I used to work in schools.

I went for a walk after the rain. Garbage washes over the street in familiar colours.

I see a painting in the tiny art gallery window but when I photograph it clouds appear.

Is this a store security camera monitor? I would splice the discarded ‘evidence’ into an art film.

The Classic Candy Store sponsored a free giveaway of Moirs chocolate at the local (it has been resurrected) theatre in 1927. One day my shadow will vanish forever like a chocolate company.

December 5th, 1927
December 5,1927

I used a Sharpie marker in my sketchbook on the subway. The lady in white does not see me. I only see her in the photograph.

I only notice the Celtic manuscript in front of the drugstore parking lot when it begins to fade.

In the elevator at the medical clinic a Taj Mahal-like shape eats away at the cheap paneling.

Now I can do something about promoting this painting.

detail- Druidica, 2022, Steven McCabe, 33′ X 5′ – mixed media on paper