Friday, November 20, 2009

Poem: Notes on 'En La Casa De La Casa'

On a painting by Kevin Patrick Kelly
(seen hanging in Small World Coffee, Princeton, Sept. 18)

Curling of pigment, brush strokes that
sweep the sweating hues, a yellow
that’s more than yellow, more than the glow
of an oven flame in the steamy
Southern Hemisphere afternoon,
blue curtains swept back in
an unexpected breeze, farm fields
speckled in distant color with an ocean blue sky
hovering like a bird lost in thought.
Sauce pot simmers, its enamel
the scratchy red of the unwashed brick
visible on overcast morning
in an empty back lot.
Can you see the hand of god
in the uneven lines, the movement
in the shadows implied by
heavy outlines, the disjunction
of space and mind?
Can you taste the mole poblano’s
sweet spice or smell the yellow tortillas
crisping in the oven’s wood-fired heat?
The eye plays tricks, acrylic glaze
infused with life, with light,
flat wooden canvas under
fluorescent bulbs in crowded
coffee shop, dishes clattering,
Princeton morning skittering under a sky
empty of pigment, rain falling,
curl of coffee’s steam
twirling into nothing at all.

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