Three Ekphrastic Poems

by | Jan 14, 2022 | Robert Vaughan - January Day 1

The Hudson Looks Different (on Joan Mitchell’s The Hudson River)

from a woman’s peep-show hole
peered from behind a square cotton tableau blanc
when a woman paints like a man and a woman
she is dangerous
defiling the most spiritual of shapes
a brush is a cock and a cunt dipping
into the river that flows fitfully from all angles grunting fuck
Kandinsky for gendering color
is blue really the most spiritual hue?
and does yellow glow out of control?
and is red so masculine it flows from whose wound?
so Joan with her Ida and Pingala unleashed her
circumscribed spectrum
in squirts and spurts
usurped the river flow
and the river became
its own godded object
a serpentine mesh of ineffable golds and blues
swirling above the lead white that sprawled in anticipation
of its own extinction with red and Kandinsky
nowhere in site

The Tourists (on Joan Mitchell’s, City Landscape, 1955)

in the city that isn’t a city
paleolithic facets in stained titanium
cling to each other like stuck gum
on a melamine desk bottom compressing
defeated rainbows beneath impastoed heaves
drips defy logic while betraying what lies
waffle between layers
we all get to train through this metropolis wreckage
at least once some of us with sticky brushes
some of us with eyes plunged deep in lint pockets
there was no mistaking the awkward pitch of skyline
seen through the mind’s eye for lack of distance
or the clumps of toy cars in their box elder bug wads
while spreadeagled over the bus rail on avenue d×723.jpg

Apropos or No (on Deborah Remington’s Apropos or Untitled, 1953)

there was no Christmas in the red and green
an amazing feat by itself
and the pink-haired punk cowboy with the yellow-smoking
hard-on did not pet the speckled donkey’s head
nor flicker yellow sun rays into a bloody sky
and the blue-skyed windows aren’t menstruating on the whole
damned show
what’s apropos is what the painting is
wet and thick and resistant in its own skin

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