Thursday, January 26, 2017


Bell Rock Lighthouse, 1819
—Painting by J.M.W. Turner


Emily spurned
all other artists
in her art thesis
but Turner
whom she adored
as much as Blake
and the Dutch masters
such as Vermeer
another Romantic
a generation later
in a metamorphosis
shaping our critical future.

 Still Life With Le Figaro
—Painting by William Hartnett


Down the long corridor
fascinated by
William Hartnett
like his still life
clarinet paintings played
over instrumental themes,
a violin hanging
onto a door
with a torn piece
of sheet music
others as a Dutch Jar
and a Bust of Dante;
Cigar Box, Pitcher
and "New York World";
Lobster and Pester Lloyd

or Still Life With Le Figaro;
another of Havana cigars
or Le Mot d'Or
at the back of the museum
by rack pictures of Peto
a possible mentor
but no imitator of tabletop
we decide to stop
at this innovative
persuasive inventor.

 Job Lot, Cheap
—Painting by John F. Peto


It was a D.C. dawn
by the National Gallery museum
outside it is snowing
minding my own business
after my slumbering dream
feeling stress in a faint
needing a cheese croissant
with an omelette
and two cups of green tea
as a jazz poet takes out
to play riffs on his alto sax
from his pea jacket pocket
with a map and address
going up and down the street
to take a look at a still life
by John Peto
without regret
saw an early painting
Fruit, Vase and Statuette
and a chaotic jumble of books
piled in an enigmatic heap
called Job Lot, Cheap
and "rack and door pictures"
shaped in tatters
scattered in frayings
and scuffs
in the rough-and-ready
from a painter's steady hand
yet to Peto it all matters
as I begin to awaken
at his rack and porous pictures
like at the back
his Tea Cup and Slice of Cake
as the chorus of sun pours out
from feeding the birds
from an all-blue sky
my words roll out
for an early reading
in Washington's capital
of our country.

 David Jones


All the varying magnetism
in his minimalism of painting,
amid the anchors
of an enigmatic plastic art
and anachronism of history,
David Jones emerges
as literary genius
trying to sum up the age
with thumbs-up
to every contrary audience
of the nations
at a religious variance
by the silence of variations
in his legendary mysticism
as In Parenthesis
to glimpse Celtic poetry
with the Imperial Roman,
Saxon, Welsh, Western,
in a poetic forum
of facts on the archaeology
theology, architecture
in an editorial to sum up
the psychology, anthropology
in the artifacts and dry bones
covering over a memorial
of a culture's intimacy reaching
as our own bard's
extraordinary inner psychology
in parts of a dramatic verse
of man's hardened
lost humanity
in the cross-hairs of horrors
of the First World War
in a span of a sorry sighting
from lairs in the near and far
of Flanders Field
he abides as heroic author
in our own English literature
relating to a modernist
who atones
in his own conversation
and Christian conversion
from a vision
not locked in stone
from his boasting soldiers
shields of a Holy Ghost faith
from a poet running into
all of politician's betrayal
and reward by holding onto
a poet's sword of the spirit
from a Holy Grail
which deposits
his last breath and blood
reflecting a heroic epic battle
in the muddy flooded dunes
between the English and Welsh
in an itinerary of "Y Gododdin"
with strident actuality
and vibrant sacramental reality
from his holy water
vessel of the Church
in his hands he ventures out
with a missal
and searches with slings
at the battle of Catraeth
taking his legendary wings
with Malory's Morte D'Arthur
in his own pastoral version
of Eliot's Wasteland
from his emerging reputation
and his accidentally iconic
legendary Anathematata
Jones never boasting
like Esau
with prudent discipline
but is humble in the law
as he gave and forgave
his enemies
in a vision of his own salvation
and from his expiation of sin
telling of the consecration
in details of the Mass
which encompasses history
in a fragmentary paradox
as he completes an epic
not seen since
Milton's Paradise Lost
and in his folio art
going back to the ancients
which rends to our history
by caves and rocks
of Lescaux
(whom like Marcel Proust
or BZ Niditch)
confounds the language
in remnants to save
and sum up the age
of homo sapiens.

—Still from Video by Jaime Davidovich


A thorn on the side
of a great painter
of minimalism
and activist of surrealism
visits us
in Argentina
at Cabaret Voltaire
his Dada performance club
with imitations of Evita
to rub on his colorful
vocal canvas
setting off explosions
in lyrical, sexual, intellectual
texts of his own notions
over walls, out of doors,
covered sidewalks
floors, alleys, local galleries
over a sheet
with his video camera
always ready
as an installation artist
to light up in hallways
as in Road in 1970
or on 3 Mercer Street.

—Painting by Jan Styka 


A slippery art
tarnished on
a slippery nightmare
after eyeing Munch's
of unfinished wet dream
in a long distress
at The Bald Soprano
well acted as memory
in Ionesco's reception
releases in awareness
filling her limpid eye
in knots of the modern
what brushes by us
as we rush by
in our art's stroll
we quote Eliot and Auden
dispersing an outcry
in a promise of Iris
and gentian, gladioli
in a fifth column
aching to flee
arts as a foreign body
at a metamorphosis
in an exiled love
from a metallic kilometer
above neurasthenia fields
from a sighing voyage
as Ulysses with shields
with his poetic utility
of miles out to sea
vibrating by the pier
of fishing nets
Penelope waiting
with many regrets
holding onto
a blue fish vase
with ship phantoms
in a motionless
wishing-well hour
to support gestures
from the underground
with wonder saves
as our culture shapes us
in Picasso's geometric art
from our enigmatic century
in a sound and fury
to tempt the waves.

 Bigger Trees Near Warter
—Painting by David Hochney


Not going by the rules
when you were obsessed
with the dead flowers
given by the showboat boys
of Fire Island
doing his last June paintings
of David Hockney
hearing Judy Garland tunes
perhaps your world
collapses in your praxis
of language
or those days were just nuts
ignoring the parrot
you got for Christmas
half in laughter
for someone in the village
who was always after you
to do his portrait
in language of "No reply"
waiting with
street smart chaps
for a couple of taxis
to go to uptown Manhattan
in his familiar pattern
to give a public reading
you believed you knew it all
believed it all
saw it all
dreaded it all
will not collapse
hidden on a blanket
but David Hockney
you will now outlast
us all.

(James Schuler founded the Schuler School of Fine Arts in Baltimore, Maryland in 1959 to teach students the methods and techniques of the Old Masters.)

 Ohuva Ozeri


We all cried
feeling helpless
to wail the night through
when Ohuva Ozeri died
this December
but blessed to remember
and hear her as she sang
"The Flowers of the Valley"
in Hebrew
this former Yemenite woman
introduced by the Indian
drummer of Ravi Shankar
of the Bulbul Tarang,
Ohuva Ozeri
a pioneer of Israeli music
and a composer on the banjo
combining African,
Indian and Yemeni
Arab and Asian melody.

 John Cage


of painting history
from the factors
of Warhol's factory
in its faint risibility
of comic oboes,
auras of conceptual
mutual happenings
in acts of dramatics
passes as art's
attic journeys
in faculties
to laugh at our era
at the obliquity
of our theater
here after.

—Painting by Alphonse Mucha 

(for Geoffrey Hill,

Haughty Salome
in naughty epicenter
ancient histories
Kant or cant
from our enemies
in your respectful
as ladies snap
their fancy umbrellas
on Jews who can ill afford
visiting their galleries
you exposed
the fascist vagaries,
the cantos of Pound
sounding like Henry Ford
from wonders
of the underground
starting from the upstart
Herod's initiation
and invitation
to rebuild Jerusalem's walls
in the clamor and glamour
of humiliation
looking forward
to liberation
at our savior's death
from imperial gangs
vaporous gangs
of Germanicus guards
playing dice
gambling for our lives
taking the night off
to meet up for Jesus.


Today’s LittleNip:

—B.Z. Niditch

In the gallery's perspective
watching her painting
Shenandoah Valley
art discloses
a larger retrospective
of Grandma Moses.


—Medusa, with thanks for B.Z. Niditch for his fine poems this morning! For more about Welsh Poet David Jones, go to For more about David Hockney’s current exhibit in Australia, see For more about the current Chicago retrospective of the videos of Argentinian artist Jaime Davidovich, see

 —Celebrate poetry!

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