poemimage

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

Tag: painting

The Chosen Ones by William Michaelian

Royal Song 1

Bluebell

If we cannot love everything and everyone,

can we, truly, love anything or anyone?

Flickering

 In choosing whom or what we love (if such choice were possible),

do we not proclaim that our judgment is larger than life itself?

New Royal Song

Is not that choice an illusion?

Curling Smoke

Lucky

 If we love only what we think we love, are we not, then,

defining love and placing on it certain limitations?

megalith

 Would it not be better to be defined by love,

than to try to define it?

pottery

triplicate

Are we so small in our uncertainty and fear that we must love

only that which pleases us, or which we think reflects well on us,

or which loves us in return? If so, how can we call that love?

new royal song f

It is a grave error we make in thinking that anything exists

outside of love.

Oval

Scroll

Can you, in your deepest thought and contemplation,

say which part of you loves and which does not?

Tinted Overlay

Royal Song framed

If you say the mind loves, or the heart loves,

or that love is harbored in various glands and organs,

what, then, of the rest of you? Are parts of you worthy

or unworthy of love? Is love necessary to one part,

but not to another?

splash

spotted new royal song

Is love a condition that changes with history,

time, and weather?

roseland2

 luscious also

And what of the insane?

Are we love’s orphans, love’s abandoned step-children?

streaking

William Michaelian is an American writer, artist, and poet. His newest book is the Tenth Anniversary Authorized Print Edition of his first novel, A Listening Thing. His Author’s Press Series now contains three volumes: The Painting of You, No Time to Cut My Hair, and One Hand Clapping. Two poetry collections, Winter Poems and Another Song I Know, were published in 2007 by Cosmopsis Books. He lives in Salem, Oregon.

http://recently-banned-literature.blogspot.com/

luscious-also-pale

Royal Song 1

 I thought my most recent painting, Royal Song (the first image), might work with the pulsing ebb and flow of William Michaelian’s poem. Love and gold work together on some mysterious level. There is a lot of air (and thought) in this poem and the painting depicts a scroll and throne (in the open air) beneath a sun. The idea of light informing the conscious mind influenced my variations on the original image.

« Goutte À Goutte », Plein verre, 1940 (May) by Pierre Reverdy, Translated by Pierre L’Abbé, 2011.

quartet

Drop by drop

drama

The habit of loving
The sap of fatigue

intersection

tritone

The torrents of sleep
In the pit of nefarious plans

shadowed a
If I had to give over the secret of the past
I would no longer fear the heaviness of blood

intersec  tion orange
Being alone
Sharpens revelations on the edges of the wind

white cracks copy
Weak and ugly
I sleep in gutters

new twin
Doubled, exposed to the weather
To the barbs of fate
To the blows of fortune

celtic animal
The bubbles of dark days burst in my hands
Life trembles irresolute on the edge of each sheet

mirrored

wash
Along the borders of the morning

wash
I no longer take a turn

wash

queen

The forms of hatred
Cheeks bulging with fire
These starving ovens

glassed

her wall

When love enlightened breathes on bitterness

a garish village
And dances on the dream-rope of nothingness

splash 3

face subtle

Pierre L’Abbé is a translator, a publisher, and the author of poetry and short story collections. He lives in Toronto.

final one

new carnival

When I began generating images for this Reverdy poem my focus was ‘self’ seeing ‘self.’ I wondered also if the poem was historical. I pictured incidents from World War Two. Or maybe psychological? The poem seemed to present an existentialism assuaged with the balm of cathartic love. And then because, coincidentally, I assembled this page on Easter Sunday, I considered (perhaps outlandishly) this being a dialogue between Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene. In two voices. An end to their metaphysical, sexual, emotional love. Hmm…perhaps too literal. I wasn’t sure where metaphor began and personal voice ended. This began a chain of associations concerning language, representation, authenticity, double-identity, etc… and I was back at the idea of ‘self’ (whatever that is) seeing ‘self.’ You know that feeling you have when you look in a mirror? You know it’s you but you’re not quite sure who ‘you’ is. You see yourself experiencing an image of your self. So, as you can see, the poem presented a host of interpretive challenges. Pierre L’Abbe would know far more than me about this poem’s purpose. As always, I went with my intuitive response in creating images. In this case a face and a figure interact while constantly transforming.

K.C. by Steven McCabe

boy and space 2

boy in space

Seeing the unseen between my eyes and outer space

new eye space

I was a boy painting my sparkling new bicycle

With house paint

now this

Squinting in the shade of a sunflower

Wiping soil and lumps of melted star off the brush

the sumerian flower

Aiming for that white-as-a-skeleton-invisible-sky-hourglass

Concept of two gods becoming one

sumerian lad

Me and my bicycle at the intersection –

Red lights fading my pupils dilated

triptych 2eye seven

from Jawbone – Ekstasis Editions – 2005

When I was a boy in Kansas City, one summer, I studied the sky. It was a dull white far off in the distance, and yet up close ‘it’ was invisible. So it dawned on me to paint my new bicycle white; up close the bicycle would be invisible, at a distance everything would seem normal. My mother was more than happy to keep me busy and found the paint and a couple of large brushes. I threw myself into the task, painting the seat, the chain, the handlebars…everything! Sadly the next day the paint flaked off and my experiment failed. Several decades later I was reading a creation myth about two gods battling in the sky. One god lost a foot to a sharp knife and black ‘blood’ (night of course) filled the sky. I remembered painting the bicycle, and decided to harmonize both ‘sky’ narratives, intertwining them in a poem. My editor reviewed my work and, being a minimalist, took out her pen; underlining, crossing out, and circling lines. In the end I had a nine line poem.

I am Goya by Andrey Voznesensky

pushing
I am Goya
of the bare field, by the enemy’s beak gouged
till the craters of my eyes gape
I am grief

duodark

I am the tongue
of war, the embers of cities
on the snows of the year 1941
I am hunger

inkcomposer

I am the gullet
of a woman hanged whose body like a bell
tolled over a blank square
I am Goya

flare

O grapes of wrath!
I have hurled westward
the ashes of the uninvited guest!
and hammered stars into the unforgetting sky – like nails
I am Goya

moscowgoya1

Translated by Stanley Kunitz