Wednesday, June 03, 2009

2 poems from, and 2 photos by (and of), my friend Arnold

Black and White
(This is a poem about male bonding)
He—the subject—is black and white.
Even his clothes are like telephones.
Sometimes I think he’s suspiciously “clear”
in the Scientology sense.
Other times that he has no way to defend himself.
I think he thinks me cheap; a vegetable; perverse;
out to get him where it hurts;
and sometimes I think he’s a
seagull—in an oil slick.

Black leather and white, white hothouse flowers.
Gardenias, camellias, and the things
that come out of his mouth and
words, whether printed or written in letters
or spoken, are all black and white;
even he’s a word, that loves itself, that loves other
words because they are as colorless; therefore he and
I love the same things, all words, and himself, and
that which is black and white:
footprints in the snow—piano keys—busing—
Sometimes I think he’s entirely a fool.
Sometimes I think he just wants to be adored.
Sometimes I think his waist—a thin, blue, imaginary
membrane—the only thing that belongs to him
that all the rest is mine.

And because he wants the same thing I do
Vatic shimmer like a nest of bijoux
I forgive him all his flaws
and I call him a cloud—picked out by jackdaws.

— Kevin Killian

The rose is obsolete
but each petal ends in
an edge, the double facet
cementing the grooved
columns of air – The edge
cuts without cutting

meets – nothing – renews
itself in metal or porcelain –

whither? It ends –

But if it ends
the start is begun
so that to engage roses
becomes a geometry –

Sharper, neater, more cutting
figured in majolica –
the broken plate
glazed with a rose

Somewhere the sense
makes copper roses
steel roses –

The rose carried weight of love
but love is at an end – of roses

It is at the edge of the
petal that love waits

Crisp, worked to defeat
laboredness – fragile
plucked, moist, half-raised
cold, precise, touching


The place between the petal's
edge and the

From the petal's edge a line starts
that being of steel
infinitely fine, infinitely
rigid penetrates
the Milky Way
without contact – lifting
from it – neither hanging
nor pushing –

The fragility of the flower
penetrates space

-- William Carlos Williams

((see ))


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