Sunday, January 13, 2008

Greatest Hits Gallery--Bekah T.

A talented artist in her own right, Bekah T. kept the class honest by asking us which was more important in our ekphrastic adventures--the poem or the work to which it responded? Of course the answer to that is complicated, as she demonstrates in her own poems, a series on the various kinds of modern art with which she experimented in her own recent art, especially as they connect to painters and their audiences. Here are two, one on cubism and a second on Pure Abstraction.

Cubist Landscape

I took the mountains into myself,
felt their thick sides pushing out from within,
tasted the dusty purple they turn at dusk,
and tried to find a way to share that with you.

I wan to sculpt a painting
you can’t walk by
without touching.
Trace the rim of a hardened blue brushstroke.
Feel the frozen moment, the frozen movement.
As I pile on more and more paint
I’m building mountain ranges and scraping
away valleys. The canvas is the landscape
Or is trying its best to be.

It is important
to understand the feeling of mountains within you,
to take the landscape and embody it
not just symbolize the volcano by its triangular point
but to feel it erupt within you.

These tectonic movements shatter
a paintbrush.
Its no tool for making mountains,
No more than am I.

Pure Abstraction

It’s the 50’s and time to reduce the world.
In a silent, non-explosive sort of way
the subjects are being blown right out of paintings.
Where there used to be city skylines, office buildings, skyscrapers,
where there used to be people working, driving, and dying
Mondrian’s lozenges now lead the way.
Their silent in a non-human, non-messy sort of way.
The colors stay within their boundaries.
Thick black horizontals and verticals
give us a systematic understanding
of how very nice structure is.

All that is unnecessary is morally wrong.
It’s the universal essence we’re worried about.
Quiet down please
I don’t speak your language.
I’m afraid your perspective just
makes this more complicated.
We want the universal, the silence
where all differences are erased, not so
that we can come together. Unity
Is not what we’re going for.

Yes, it takes rather a lot of violence
to reach silence
but how nice it is
how pure.
Pay no attention to the rubble
(or the people under it)
It’ll be cleared away in due time.

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