Warhol–One Stop Poetry

Own work made in the style of Andy Warhol

Image via Wikipedia

Over at One Stop Poetry, http://onestoppoetry.com Brian Miller gave us the prompt to write to the art or life of pop artist James Rosenquist. Today’s been a day of deadlines, limiting my ability to do justice to this topic, so I hope it’s acceptable to substitute a poem I wrote about another pop artist, Andy Warhol, when we had an exhibit of his work at Nevada Museum of Art where I’ve been a docent.


Maybe Andy was on
to something.
screen-printed cans—
Campbell’s soup:
red and white,
silver and gray,
navy blue with a gold seal.
An icon of comfort in
the midst of so much dismay.
Tomato, Chicken Noodle,
Split Pea,
Bean with Bacon, Pepper Pot.
Mother’s Milk, Mother’s Comfort.
Bring it on.

Did you ever stop?
Really look at art?
I mean art in a grocery store?
“Wake up!”
Andy would say.
Listen closely.”

I pick up a navel orange.
Its dimpled skin
leaves a scent-mark
on my fingers.

“If you want to know me,
look at my art,”
“I’m a deeply superficial person.”

So I stare at him,
but he doesn’t glance back.
Eyes drifting to some
far-away place where
wholeness waits,
or to a party where
touching never held room
for emptiness.
The pull of gravity so great
the Mass collapses in
on itself,
Black Hole. Black Whole.

All that sparkles is
not diamond dust.
Even that wouldn’t adhere.
Your world
became glittered in so
much plastic.

Redemption plays in
pink and yellow
electric chairs.

Curl up,
snuggle in its lap
and die alone
while the nurse who
was there for you,

Oh my God,
I am heartily sorry,
So much pain.
I repeat, I repeat.
Marilyn in
black and gray
and brown,
blue and pink.
We are heartily sorry
who we aren’t,
what we are
and what they made us.

The woman handed
the boy
a piece of dense bread.
“It’s dry,” he said.
“Dunk it in your soup,”
she answered.

(This poem was previously posted October 2010) Now I’m off to research Rosenquist. Thanks for the prompt, Brian.

16 thoughts on “Warhol–One Stop Poetry

  1. Jingle says:

    you are capable writing all kinds of poetry.
    lovely imagery.

    Happy Sunday.


  2. trisha says:

    fantastic poem victoria.


  3. This part really speaks to me about Warhol:

    “We are heartily sorry
    who we aren’t,
    what we are
    and what they made us.”

    To my mind Warhol said, ‘You won’t can market and sell me. I’ll do that myself. Don’t think I’m serious? I’ll do it to my mother too, and throw Chairman Mao a mangled car and a pretty cow in for good measure – and sell it back to you. It’s all the same to me, fodder for my art mill.’ People tend to see him as a tragic figure, but it’s equally true that he empowered himself. He’s influenced nearly everything in the arts, yet no one has really followed him, no one knows how. He created the mold, then broke it.


  4. Bodhirose says:

    Wow–so very cool! I think you captured Warhol very well–excellent!


  5. Langley says:

    Bravo, this is excellent. I think Warhol would heartily approve. I love this: I’m a deeply superficial person.


  6. ALIVE aLwaYs says:

    This was great Victoria, you show how much you put in to your writing.


  7. This is excellent, Victoria. Andy Warhol was quite a character, wasn’t he?



  8. b_y says:

    The art center where I volunteer is in the process of installing a travelling Warhol exhibit, so you poem is especially well-timed. All the glitz tends to obscure. I like the way you’ve brought us through your process. Love the way you bring us back to the mother soup.


  9. Claudia says:

    wow this was so tactile victoria – could feel it…your poem honors the work of this fantastic artist!!


  10. You ask many interesting questions about art and its role in our lives.


  11. esteban says:

    your a fine poet

    a sad poem
    leaves me thinking

    well crafted piece

    my sister

    power to the poet


  12. brian says:

    wow this is wicked victoria. love the flow and story telling…the navel orange to the nurse…and the boy in the end…superb.


  13. Wowzaaaaaa. You are my fav. I like the rave with ur words in such a smooth way, learned, yet free with expression. Luv yur voice. I’ll keep saying it, poet with my favorite name. Thanks for the visit. I always look for it.



  14. jgavinallan says:

    This is so interesting. I had to google much of the information to understand. It seems so full of color…like the artist…I guess?
    Jaye—really nice pictures presented through the words.


  15. siggiofmaine says:

    I like this very much…creative and thoughtful. I also liked the thread of conversation in this…varying topics and observations. Thank you very much. Siggi in Downeast Maine


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