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.

Warhol

Maybe Andy was on
to something.
One-after-another
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.
“Look.
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,
wasn’t.

Oh my God,
I am heartily sorry,
hardly,
heartily.
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.

A Matter of Perspective–Friday Poetically

Chuck Close Portrait

Image by Bklyn_Spencer via Flickr

One of my favorite living artists is Chuck Close. I was excited to see that Brian Miller’s prompt at Friday Poetically addresses his works. http://onestoppoetry.com/

A year or two ago I enjoyed touring students and the general public through an exhibit of Chuck’s art at Nevada Museum of Art. In addition to his well-know mosaic-like portraiture there was a collection of tapestries. Close used digitally manipulated photography to generate computer images that he sent to a tapestry weaving firm in Belgium  The museum displayed this work so that the visitors could carefully look behind the hangings to see all the threads that went into the finished work. It was an amazing experience. To view some of Close’s tapestries, you may enjoy visiting http://www.magnoliaeditions.com/Content/Close/Close.htm

A Matter of Perspective

Stand too close to life
and you will only see
little squares of colors.

Take a few steps back.
Look how the whole
becomes apparent.

If you view a tapestry
from the backside
confusion presides.

Step up, face it head-on
the precision of the image
will stun you.

Go ahead, manipulate reality.
The outcome surprises,
at times, clarifies.