Sunday, May 9, 2010

Two Poems



Some paintings gain by being tilted,
their frames off plumb against the wall.
Mondrian's "Rose in a Tumbler,"
its boxy blue petals already askew

against its own white border, finds
order pitched a few degrees awry.

There is in this a mystery I would
explain at the expense of the effect.


At a bookstore, I found a novel
with a reputation for being bawdy.

As I thumbed its pages, out dropped
a snapshot of a naked woman's back.

I bought the book, though I don't
intend ever to read its blue pages.

The woman's hidden face smiles at
some canard on page seventy-eight.

Rose in a Tumbler

A powder blue flower-
a rose in a short glass,
a seer's whiskey sour,
nature without surface.

A drawing to surpass
reality, it grows,
it seems, to embarrass
red and white roses.

We know the draftsman knows
a multiplying power-
the rose in blooming blows-
imagination's flower.

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