Here gradation does edge’s job
on urn, jug, ewer, a jugular
vein of light opening up
at the slow twist of a knife of another light.
Here the story is anarrative,
turning on glints. In it here and there
means now and then. The glints are white-on-white’s dropped hints.
Now as the population of utopia soars
is the time to study the architecture of the future
and be called in one day to solve hereafter sprawl
and pull a golden blueprint from an ether canister, a cylinder of glow, a tube ablaze
to show a city, smoked glass and cracks through clay,
a skyline glazed under the haze of if and when.
Place a white vase on a white cloth before a white wall.
Add a chipped pot, a tipped cup. Of course white on white
is no such thing,
which is moving—
its being off-white but still just touching,
grazing white, moves me
through and through. I remember you moving too.
Abut, about, overlap, palaver and converse, converge.
The word is the next word. Likewise
lansdcape is still life, portraiture is still life. It’s still life
Sometimes I paint not with my eyes closed
but as if they were, object as afterimage, object
from one angle as seen from another.
Sometimes I arrange before me many objects
but paint a few, to see if I can see them
Sometimes I arrange before me a few things
and paint many to see if I can see right
through space to its interior, its ulterior motives.
Either way it appears
liquefaction is the motion still life goes through,
depicting its own flicker going out, being
splashed, submerged in the in and of itself.
I seek, I think,
to explain the way depth and distance are
on the one and the same plane—
even as they diverge more than say
drove and wound and drove and wound
as in the wound wound down your side
or you drove them over the cliff
from afar, flickers of darkness,
—to see each phase shape goes through.
A bottle off its shelf, a shell,
a ball midroll.
What is it to be held in place? What holds?
I pick up the pitcher’s shadow,
gray milk trickles
from the spout’s outline.
I tilt the pitcher, out pours silhouette.
among the bottle shapes.
Layer itself strikes you as thick.
Dawn breaks, dusk gathers, dust settles.
Of blue I have yet to begin
to scratch the surface. Of that
I may have no intention.