poemimage

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

Tag: crime

animals in the sky nurse their young

I said that was a long time ago

I passed through that stage of being a long time ago

she said never mind you’re not who I’m looking for

a gold-tipped cane floats to sea

the needle in the handle fully loaded

the way the blanket is folded makes it look like a fish

she said never mind you’re not who I’m looking for

the tunnels beneath Funland flood

a gold-tipped cane surges to sea fully loaded

clouds notify

far-flung amphitheatres

sea-sponges sparkle

actors dip sponges

in limestone basins

sea-sponges float cloud-like

in quiet limestone basins

animals in the sky

nurse their young.

ink brushwork S. McCabe

Ovid

I  gaze upon her at the walk-in clinic

only the two of us

she carries a brilliant white bowl made of clay

her name scratched into the white glaze

I said haven’t I met you before

she said a long time ago

in the library at Alexandria

I said why are you here

she said the people who started the fire

arrested me for reading Ovid

they sentenced me to life without honey

I said what is the bowl for she didn’t speak

I thought my conversation bothersome

& fell quiet

she said I read Ovid at the speed of light

I said like a honeybee

she said honeybees are slower than the speed of light

I snap my fingers like a jazz musician 

You got it!

Honeybees are slower than the speed of light!

She said it might be the title of a brilliant love poem

about snails

I said two snails conceptually in love

she said you have to become healthy

I said what’s wrong with me

she said consider velocity

consider clay pots breathing in a cave

unfurling billowing sail-skins of air

unfurling billowing sail-skins of sunshine

the Dead Sea Scrolls

rolled and telepathic

secretly rescued in the fire 

she winks one eye

I snap my fingers

she said Im not saying anything

a voice calls her number

two snails conceptually move about in the sunshine

wrapped in honey-coloured sail-skins billowing

unfurling honey-coloured sail-skins often

I am healthy often

the people who start the fire sentence her to honey found secretly on cliff-sides

I walk in circles upon the rounded peak of a vertical mound 

chosen because it has no shade trees

I am healthy often eating honey

the brilliant afternoon drenched in honey-coloured telepathic heat

swirling like butter from the ancient cows

a deer pushes his nose into the brilliant white pages 

I read Ovid listening to a brilliant buzzing sound.

Paul Klee by Paul Eluard – translated by Nancy Kline

f

what is to come

On the death-­dealing slope, the traveler makes use

Of the favor of day, the slippery frost, no small stones,

And eyes blue with love he discovers his season

Be­ringed on all fingers with stars.

white whirl

d

monumental whirl

On the beach the sea has relinquished its ears

And the sand digs the spot for a beautiful crime.

underwater book

n.b.and

Torture is harder for hangmen than victims

Bullets are tears and daggers are signs.

brightly dark

fish

Capital of Pain, Black Widow Press, 2006

translated by Mary Ann Caws, Patricia Terry, Nancy Kline

originally published 1926.

i

I was apprehensive about applying my images to a poem about Paul Klee. Klee is one of my favourite artists for many reasons. He used line masterfully. His sense of colour and texture was both magical and visceral. He was intellectual as well as full of child-like wonder. He experimented imaginatively while rigorously creating an expanding body of work. This poem by Eluard is like a prism capturing various realities & dimensions one might encounter in Klee’s art. I wanted to depict the sensibility & feel of the poem but I wasn’t sure how I felt about making images about somebody who made images. And I didn’t want to copy Klee in any sort of obvious manner. I shared this concern with Nancy Kline, the translator of this poem & many of the poems in Capital of Pain. Nancy suggested that one visual artist interpreting another might be an worthwhile experience yielding interesting results. And with this encouragement in mind I worked on composing images that hopefully come near the boundaries of ‘Klee-ism.’