To begin ...

As the twentieth century fades out
the nineteenth begins
it is as if nothing happened
though those who lived it thought
that everything was happening
enough to name a world for & a time
to hold it in your hand
unlimited.......the last delusion
like the perfect mask of death

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Rochelle Owens: Color Pool in Umbria, in Memoriam Al Held

please note. a list of postings after january 12, 2012 can be found here



First  a question
then an outline
is it an anatomical form

the monumental painting
is it bearing a signature
and are the letters blurred?

Again the question
the monumental painting
is it an anatomical form

a form of optical effects
of peculiar power
is it bearing a signature

and are the letters blurred?


A dead man in a pool
closely and intimately the smell
of chlorine

dead in the swimming pool
of his Umbrian Villa
gorgeous the stone work

painted tiles  medieval ruins
the drowned artist’s passion
his rural Eden

monumental the golden mosaic
the giant Cyclops
the gleaming brutal eye

splintering sunlight  grapevines
fields of sunflowers  olive groves
the drowned artist floating
circling  drifting  round and round
his rural Eden
a color pool of aquamarine

a dead man’s float
the full sweet lips open

Incredible the beauty
of the Umbrian maid a girl of fifteen
a farmer’s daughter

the muscles of her back
spirally arranged  her honey-tone hands
slipping under layers of water

the drowned artist floating beyond
further and further
moving in circles  diagonals 

ovals  rectangles  squares  triangles
moving beyond the honey-tone hands
further and further
the drowned artist seized

seized by Cyclops the giant
jittery energy  the body of work
is work of the body

drifting geometries

Incredible the beauty
of the Umbrian maid a girl of fifteen
on her knees

moving in circles
polishing the marble floor
a farmer’s daughter

singing ‘amore mio  amore mio’
the marble floor sparkling
smiling at her reflection

the full sweet lips open
In the afternoon
sipping Umbrian wine

tearing off the wing of
a roast pigeon  a breast vein
as thick as a finger

Everyday Disturbances
in Umbrian farm country

sipping white wine
the faythful cut their tongues out

it is possible that a discarded wallet
holds the beggar spellbound

overzealous  crushing the grapes
dangerous and violent the fruit

when the fish gasped Jesus laughed
the full sweet lips open

pulling off the skin of the fish
like a glove  hearing a mourning dove

succulent the fillet rolled
rapturous the tongue of the monk

the volume of the fish  sea water
spilled on the putrefied heart

[NOTE.  At age 76, the American artist Al Held (1928-2005) was found dead in his villa swimming pool near Camerata, Italy.  It is believed that he died of natural causes.
               More of Rochelle Owens’ work, with plentiful commentaries, appears here and here on Poems & Poetics.]

1 comment:

Rhiannon Hall said...

Owens' poem craftily captures the colour and the artist. I think a scattering of the lines could have added an interesting effect and further comment on both the painting and the artist, however the short lines arranged as they are do keep the pace up, which makes this longish poem flow. The fast pace and narrative of this poem allows the reader to flow through the poem and wish that it would never end.