Art is Messy–dVerse Poetics

Chester Arnold in his Studio

Artist, Chester Arnold, in his Studio

This poem is about a problem–my problem. My office, writing space, is also my would-be art studio. And here’s the problem. I’m a perfectionist (borderline OCD?) and can’t write in a chaotic environment. I long to paint, but can’t endure the mess.

Today for dVerse Poetics, Grace prompts us to write to the amazing photographic display/art of Emily Blincoe. Her arrangements appeal to me for their organization, color, implied texture and pattern. In response, I share with you my (not-too-poetic) dilemma.

Art is Messy

I uncap each tube,
inhale deeply, feeling creativity
seep into my body
through the sense of smell.

Lay them out, then,
color wheel-like:
and all the shades

that canvas
tight, tight-tighter yet.
Sort brushes
by number.
Drop cloth, easel,
light source.


Uncap tube.
Inhale emptiness.

Thank you, Emily, for sharing your beautiful work.


Photo: Emily Blincoe



feather art–dVerse Poetics

I’m hosting for Tuesday’s dVerse Poetics and am looking for poetry about feathers. Please join us with a poem of your own.

Photo: V. Ceretto

Photo: V. Ceretto


feather art

she would paint feathers, she told me,
would spend her days waiting
for feathers fluttering to earth
borne on gentle zephyrs
feathers fallen to the ground
those scattered by a bird of prey
the bodies of a sparrow or a wren

she chooses brushes carefully
(the finest sables) or a nib
she’d load with color or with ink
to focus on delicate detail
outlining veins and every plume
the clash of color line and shape

for feathers are what makes a bird a bird,
she says, and wonders why the jays glow blue
and orioles gold and how to capture iridescence
such glorious structures fractal-ly complex

her studio’s awash in brilliant quills
exotic colors luminous light
collected on the beach and desert floors
some in the mountain heights on trails
and in her garden bed beneath the trees

her work is like a prayer, she says,
a mystical mandala journey to within
she dips her pen into the very heart
of our creation’s source, and recreates
the energy that throbs beneath
the skin of every living being

Image: Public Domain

Image: Public Domain



Music at Lake Tahoe

Photo: Victoria Slotto Lake Tahoe, Nevada

Photo: Victoria Slotto
Lake Tahoe, Nevada

music at lake tahoe

wind soughs her songs through tops of pines
a lone songbird joins in, counterpoint, riffs in three-quarter time
my heart crashes like symbols, in time with lake-ripples

we share words, poetry, a cool glass of raspberry tea
three hours—too brief a time for all we want to share
so we speak allegro con dolce, pianissimo—and we listen

words sigh away, diminuendo, as i descend the mountain, alone

Musical Notations
allegro: quickly
con dolce: with gentleness
pianissimo: softly
diminuendo: fading away

De Jackson (whimsygismo) and I shared a lovely afternoon at Lake Tahoe last week. It was a joy to meet her face-to-face. I’ve written this for Day 2 of dVerse Poet Pub‘s 5th Anniversary Celebration where I’m hosting an interview with dVerse Co-Founder Claudia Schoenfeld and asking for a Sevenling written on the theme of music. I’ve included three paintings of Claudia’s which you may use for inspiration if you like. Please stop by and catch up with this talented poet/artist.


Photo: V. Slotto Lake Tahoe NV

Photo: De and Victoria Lake Tahoe, NV

Photo: De and Victoria
Lake Tahoe, NV





according to andy warhol, we should create art for the masses


Photo: V. Slotto


according to andy warhol, we should create art for the masses
a tanka

paint that can of soup
beauty in the produce aisle
touch the smooth texture
revel in green orange and red
art on display everywhere

When I was a docent at the Nevada Museum of Art, I was especially impressed by the life and art of Andy Warhol, whose goal was to create art for the populace. I liked to challenge the school children to discover art all around them–for example in the grocery store.

Posted to dVerse Poets OLN where we have now reached a milestone of 150 Open Link Nights. We hope you will join us today.

I’m adding an older poem that I wrote at the time of the exhibit. It’s been around, but for those who haven’t read it…


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.



Thanksgiving, a Day Late–dVerse MTB

Thank You for Those Little Things
An Acrostic List Poem

Image: Acrylic on Canvas by Victoria C. Slotto 2009

Image: Acrylic on Canvas by
Victoria C. Slotto

Giving Thanks

Green grass, each blade dormant now, sending roots below;
Icy patterns on the panes, nature’s graceful art;
Virgin snow upon the plains, blanketing our world;
Indigo—God’s nighttime sky, sheltering our sleep;
Nesting birds and buzzing bees, harbingers of spring;
Goodness in an aging heart, gently touched with grace.

Turkey, gravy, yummy food, shared with those we love;
Hedgehogs, chipmunks, furry things, living by the river;
Avian beauties in our yard, feeding on the seeds;
Nasty winds and pounding rain, steaming tea or coffee;
Kites and bubbles, children’s toys, keeping youth alive
Silent moments, solitude. Blessing so abound.

I’m especially grateful for you, all my blogging poet friends at dVerse, who have enriched my life these past years, with the gift of poetry and of yourselves.

I’m linking this to dVerse Meeting the Bar, where Brian is hosting a Thanksgiving post. I’m happy to see him back in the pub, and happy to be back myself, after a quite hectic few months and some very sketchy poetry.

the wedding of science and art–dVerse Meeting the Bar

Kepler 186f

Kepler 186f

the wedding of science and art

mired in a swamp of disparate ideas
and now
the Kepler space telescope detects potential
planets as they cross in front of their stars,
causing them to dim

inspiration comes in waves—
consider the beauteous but secret
life of seaweed.



art and science, hand-in-hand
traipse through rain forests—
the one drenched in awe,
the other, molecules



while permafrost melts, releasing
methane into arctic air
and parrots flaunt their
brilliant colors, but languish



who knows what to believe
when truth is buried
in classified archives
deep in the bowels of some
federally controlled basements



and the mezzo-soprano
breaks the sound barrier
in search of truth?

This poem is written in response to a prompt I posted on dVerse Meeting the Bar where I challenge poets to jump into the waters of Dadaism. Some of the ideas expressed are mine; others are captured from my San Francisco State University Alumni Newsletter where former graduates excel in the world of  the arts and science.

We would love to see you at our virtual Pub with a poem of your own! The doors open at 12:00 EDT.

The Poetry Wheel

Color Wheel by Pre-School via Google Images

Poetry bleeds red,
surges from the womb,
trickles down the page.
Words pool at your feet.

Poetry skulks black,
struggles in dark corners,
slithers in the night.
Words labor to console.

Poetry flows blue,
springs from barren deserts,
saturates the leaves.
Words quench dying thirst.

Poetry glows gold,
gentle penetration,
fills these empty pages.
Words satiate desire.

Poetry blushes wine,
emanating spirit,
kneads the tired soul,
lifts from weariness.

Poetry sprouts green,
nourishes understanding,
words hard to digest,
unlocking limitations.

Poetry throbs orange,
explodes upon the tongue,
demands to be set free—
words forged in searing fire.

Poetry scours white,
purifies the meaning.
Freshest words that breathe,
borne upon the breeze.

I’m happy to link this to dVerse Open Link Night where talented poets from all over the globe submit their poetry of choice. We welcome newcomers, whether you simply want to browse or, hopefully, bring a poem of your own to share. The “pub” opens Tuesday at 1500 EDT.


I’m “tending bar” today over at dVerse Poet’s Pub where the theme for the prompt is symbolism. I hope you’ll join us! My challenge to you is to share a symbolic poem of your own and leave a comment here, as well, letting me know what the painting and poem symbolizes to you. This is expressionistic art, which, by definition, seeks to express emotion or to elicit an emotional response. Thank you.

Credit: Image from Google, Artist’s website and name was not available.


A stretch of white.
You scrape a knife
through black, then indigo,
layer darkness,
across the horizon.
Reach for a tube of
chestnut brown,
squeeze the contents
onto the lower half
and smear.
Payne’s grey sky.
A slash of crimson,
a miniscule orb
in orange.

Non Sequitur

Iron for Man Ray

Iron for Man Ray (Photo credit: Pickersgill Reef)

Allons-y! A little dip into the pool of avant-garde art, Da-Da, surrealism et n’import de quoi for our journey into the world of French culture as nous célébrons le Quatorze Juillet! Bring out les pétards!


Breaking News,

English: PolyNeon

English: PolyNeon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Circa 1920-something,
Paris, France:



ManRay had lunch today
with Reverdy.
“Create a juxtaposition
of two more or less distant

Je t’aime.
Je t’en prie.
Je t’attends,
Mr. Magrite,
viens ici.

Breaking News,
Circa 2020-something,


Join us at dVerse Poetics, hosted by la belle Manicddaily, Karin Gustafson. We will have fun!

Painting Life–Poetry Potluck

Francois Detaille ok 0076

Image via Wikipedia

Painting Life

Were you to draw this life in black and white,
the lines would then be hard and not forgive—
no subtle shades to ease the journey’s plight.

With color’s tones and even tones of gray
the world assumes her nuances of grace—
the lights and shadows of our every day.

So you surrender paint and page and hand
unto the artful muse who lurks inside,
allowing her to guide your thought and pen.

You smear the brightest orange with yellow
taste the sweet scent of the fair Scotch Broom
and forge in black the loamy earth below.

Now play with texture to confuse one’s sense
and add perspective, draw the viewer in.
Create illusion to obscure pretense.

You will take risks when you engage in art,
allow your soul to bleed on canvas bare.
Be sure you understand this ere you start.

Submitted to Jingle’s Poetry Potluck where the theme for this week is ART!