Laura Bloomsbury at dVerse challenges us with “Poetics: The Poet as Painter”: She writes, “For those of you who like an extra challenge, then only after you have completed Part 1 [using only the title of one of the given paintings], look up the artwork link of your title choice and write a second part to your poem as ekphrastic.” The title and painting I chose: Bridget Riley’s “Movement in Squares.”
Movement in Squares
I’ve seen movement in squares when no one’s looking:
peeling yellow edges, masks removed the triangulation of centers multiplying or rounding a buttery corn on a cob a cluster of seedless green glowing grapes sunlit reifying corners into succulence the pear juice piercing sweet the sticky drippings of watermelon seeds mathematical
I’ve seen movement in squares when everyone’s looking:
until they march row after row checkerboard cells of interlocking black and white, marching in step devolving, eliminating, disappearing into folds of antiseptic non-existence squares no longer, inching lines rectangular, a comedy of illusion designed to perpetrate a hoax teleological
careful, my friend, around squares there is no end of desire finally
Mish at dVerse’s “Poetics” asks us to take on the persona of a color, “imagine what they see . . . . slip out of our human bodies and become nothing but a color.” So it is written, so it is done, but in the voice of one particular color, Vincent van Gogh’s yellow.
Van Gogh died in July 1890 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest.
When you turn to me away from Rachel For whom you sheared your face of an ear Isn’t the world brighter, like sunflowers? And the walls of your house in Arles Lavishly canvased, as the awnings As cafés, bedframes, straw hats, sunsets I am the light running before you Swirling you up to starry nights and moons Away from the blackness of eyes That never see you like I have seen you Radiant in the waving fields of wheat Until the day you clasp your hands Round the ochred skin of despair.
Time rebounds in dabs of paint Watery sun soaks through space Sensations blur Colors seep Diminishing lines Reflections slur Your hands, your face Gaze untendered Unbristled, still A warm attention Encompassing all Formidable will Probing memory Dark sublime Time rebounds in dabs of paint.