Tuesday, May 09, 2006

But What Does It Mean?

The figure on the left in Crowd is modeled after someone I saw in a turnpike restaurant. The figure on the right is sitting on a cabinet, questioning Cheryl. The space between the figures is abstract and a small ghostly figure emerges from the dark.

Food for Thought shows a man with a fork aiming for the figure in the middle. The top figure embedded in landscape has beat him to it. In the conversation about intellectual property, the depiction of people feeding on other's ideas reduces the argument to its lowest elements.


It needs a sharp pencil.
A fountain pen. Cookies.
No, not that kind. Some coffee.
Or milk. Both! It concentrates better
with the TV on, sound off. But first,
it wants a bath. And a nap. A walk
in the woods. Dinner would be nice,
but a movie might confuse it, saturate it
with symbols that swell within dreams
and come to sit on your chest at 3AM,
nightshirt pounding, notebook held
just out of reach.

(Salt Rock Plum)


She enters the diner, a book
in her purse; sits down,
opens a menu. Tongues
on her sneakers
twist like the urge to flee.

She steals a glance at her wrist,
watch-face ticking in circles;
notices that the table has a head,
a chair with a back
and arms to rest her elbows on.

To knuckle her spine
against the chair’s ladder of slats
comforts her with some frame
of reference.

Carnations nod in a vase.
She fingers the blown glass,
its slender neck, the wet crystal lip
and the room begins to hum.

(The Shore Magazine)



I stand guard over your fitful sleep. Heat rises, mixes with your sweat while I watch your fever rage.

It’s almost midnight. Planets blink, offer neither clue
nor compassion. The hour’s breaking shivers with sound,
draws me to the window below the shingled wings
of the sloping roof.

A bird tunes its throat, swells a single pitch
from the quavering source. Shapes from a far branch
answer, the motif embellished as if caught in a lie.

Notes loosed into an imitation of flight remind me

of all that must not happen in the dark: a soul
slipping away, all vigilance forsaken.

I turn back to you, pulse quick with dotted rhythms
and count out the time left under your vein-mapped skin.

(Red River Review)

The Blues

This painting shows the metamorphosis of a head reflected by a hole in the ground. A blue draft
blows in, tangles at the base and dagger-shaped black covers the surface of the hole, cutting across the field of yellow where the head rests.

Blue #1

Saxophone mutes the fog in his lungs,
mouthpiece clamped to a kiss. Brass throats
on a crying jag throb behind him
in gin-soaked syncopation--
'My woman done gone and left me.
She ain’t comin’ round no mo’

His breath slides down a pitch, pinches it
like a bleeder or some spent bloom. The woman
at the front table crosses her legs so he can see,
feathers on her boa twitching like a cat’s tail.

She loved somebody once and knows what it means
to be a smashed thing, best parts held to the light
and appraised. She’s never been afraid to lose
what’s already gone.

The jazzman shuts his eyes tight and turns his back
on the audience.
'I said, My woman done gone and left me.
She rolled her hips right out the door'

He smokes blue notes like contraband, burring
and buzzing his lip, a last chance extinguished
on the breath of his swollen song, because a woman
done gone and left him. She ain’t comin’ home no mo’.

(Miller's Pond)


Arlene said...

*LOVE* your blog -- beautiful artwork and poetry, Cheryl!

And congrats on the recent publications -- always such a treat to read your work. Now I know where to find you, too ;)

Thanks for the dropping by my place. I've added you to my links. Hope that's okay.


Cheryl said...

More than ok, Arlene! Thanks for coming by. It's a pleasure to see you.

michi said...

cheryl, i stop by here occasionally, love the artwork and poetry. also saw a few pubs recently, so congrats.

i gave the blog address to a poet acquaintance of mine, lauren, who is looking for an artist to illustrate a (chap)book. she said she really likes your sister's work, so maybe she'll get in touch.

hope you managed to contact alex stolis.


Cheryl said...

Hi Michi! Thanks for telling Lauren about Janet--I'm sure she'd be glad to contribute art to the chap. And thanks for the email addy--I sent a message off.