Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Borderland

A 9x12 oil on panel of a large boat at the public pier in Gloucester, MA.

The borderland--that's where, if one knew how,
one would establish residence.  That watershed,
that spine, that looking-glass . . . I mean the edge
between impasto surface, burnt sienna, thick,
             striate, gleaming--swathes and windrows
             of carnal paint--
             or, canvas barely stained,
             where warp and weft peer through,

and fictive truth: a room, a vase, an open door
giving upon the clouds.

A step back, and you have
the likeness, its own world.  Step to the wall again,
and you're so near the paint you could lick it,
you breathe its ghostly turpentine.

Words from the poem "The Life of Art" by Denise Levertov.

No comments: