three painters&a trip to Tunis //what i learned about myself that day

the traveler

a traveler/in bern last weekend

.

he paints sharp lines between the squares,
a border, not to cross
unlike what you would do with watercolor
commonly //i think
of shades&hues

&forehead against forehead,
lovers in their own way
i lean carefully against my neighbor color’s chest

“you don’t lean tightly into someone usually?”
she asks
and i feel guilty//
guilty number millionthousendeightyone
draw back

and run my hands across a fine black line,
a little mosk, palm, rooftops
sweat and sand and seabreeze in their paint
a few months later Macke fell

at the front in France//Champagne
“i probably haven’t learned to love someone” i say
and stay, abutted to my favorite colors

that bring out in me
what i can’t see//or feel
myself, a life-long search&challenge
i pour paint onto a palette
somewhere in the face of africa
close to the sea, a map //
an ink-soaked quill instead a flag
to wave with

.
Who are you and whom do you love?
What else are you, that no one has seen before?
Describe a morning you woke without fear.
How will you know when you get there?

Those are the questions, Marina has us answer for poetics at dVerse today… i answered three of them… smiles…doors open at 3pm EST

&that is the exhibit i’m referring to that i ‘ve visited last weekend

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52 responses to “three painters&a trip to Tunis //what i learned about myself that day

  1. i like the honesty in this…the havent learned to love someone..it all revolves around that line for me….understanding that we all paint a bit different…some with borders, some without…the leaning in…there is a vulnerability in it…that last stanza is strong…

  2. I’m sure I don’t fully understand this one. But, I do feel the soulfullness of it, the essence of you and somehow some slight insecurties common, perhaps, to all of us. I too like the line about not knowing how to love. I think that’s a profound revelation, yet true to all of us as well. And I do see you as someone who crosses the lines beause you want to test, taste life in an unconventional way.
    Lovely writing here Claudia.

  3. sometimes we live our lives so gently – it’s almost as if we step so lightly as to leave no footsteps. These words made me think that love means grasping strongly.

  4. Lots of painter’s detail in this poem, Claudia…..so many different ways of dealing with color and with lines and with life. As for learning to love someone, I think there are as many ways of loving as there are of painting.

  5. Having been in Tunis not too long ago…this poem brings to mind a series of images for me…especially staring out into the sea after visiting a local painter’s shop.

  6. I enjoyed how you used painting as a metaphor for love. I also wondered to what extent we can teach or learn to love. I have feeling it is an area where we are constantly learning, like with paints I guess.

  7. Hmm….I love the line “pour paint into a palette somewhere in the face of Africa” – I had to look up Macke and feel like your setting was his Turkish Cafe painting with the sounds and smells of the town & sea…and a bit of self recrimination is healthy I think. Leaning into your “neighbor color’s chest” is amazing, wondering if we love enough, too much, or in the right ways…an intimate study of you, I venture to say..smiles

  8. Beautiful Claudia! Your leaning in, your footsteps and your water colours… you tread gently on the planet. I love the painting references. It makes me want to get out my oils. Alas, the writing comes first and the pages must be done!

  9. I’m sorry if I misled you about the last question – changed my mind about which one to include, but this is powerful indeed, that constant finding, even more than the searching, the neighbouring hues claiming and enhancing each other and, of course ‘myself, a life-long search&challenge’

  10. b4 I 4get:
    feeling excessively guilty all the time is a vitamin B6 deficiency. Honest.

    I like thi, though I couldn’t possibly put these answers in a poem, sadly. Not make them anything but factual.

  11. Its a life long search and challenge ~ I specially like the honesty in this part:

    “i probably haven’t learned to love someone” i say
    and stay, abutted to my favorite colors

    Love it Claudia ~

  12. i think many folks..turn to art and creativity of all types to express what words and non-verbal expressions will not do..

    Sometimes words are not enough..

    The visual is core of what many folks see moreover as their reality…than words as such…

    And it seems that the visual thinking folks often have more difficulty expressing love and perhaps even receiving it as such..

    My world is mostly vision..now that i have it back..more photography now in expression of art.. but i would like to paint one day too..my grandmother started at 60..my mother started writing poetry in her 50′s.. so perhaps that is still to come2…;)

  13. You have a beauty in your imagery and i so look forward to reading the insight of your words. There is an evident truth to world without constraints and a heart that can remain open. thank you

  14. i pour paint onto a palette
    somewhere in the face of africa
    close to the sea, a map //
    an ink-soaked quill instead a flag
    to wave with

    Awesome stanza. Your poems are usually very personal, but this one lays a lot bare. Wow.
    i pour paint onto a palette
    Tina @ Life is Good

  15. How we see and use what is there–some, separate box and label, some amass and blend. I know the linear is awkward with the tools of water color, one of which lays color next to color … Love:

    “&forehead against forehead,
    lovers in their own way
    i lean carefully against my neigbor color’s chest

    “you don’t lean tightly into someone usually?”
    she asks
    and i feel guilty//
    guilty number millionthausendeightyone
    draw back …”

    I think all explorers need a home to launch from and I am grateful when each has a quill. Thank you.

  16. “you don’t lean tightly into someone usually?” … How observant.

    These are my favorites:

    “a little mosk, palm, rooftops
    sweat and sand and seabreeze in their paint”

    “i pour paint onto a palette
    somewhere in the face of africa”

    You have a couple of misspellings: “neighbor” in the second stanza and “thousand” in the

  17. Yes, yes, & yes, for we are all painters, poets, wild assed pigeons, laughing ravens. The Artist in you dominated the piece today, and the mother, wife, professional stepped back with palette knives at the ready; incredible energy, verve, and great glob-splashes of color; so cool.

  18. “i probably haven’t learned to love someone”
    Yes. This. I thought I had, but it turns out I was doing it wrong. Wish I knew the secret….
    Thanks for making me think, and letting me know that doubts are everywhere, but most of all, inside.

  19. he paints sharp lines between the squares,
    a border, not to cross
    unlike what you would do with watercolor
    commonly //i think
    of shades&hues

    smiles. This reminded me of the time when as I boy, I tried water color. You answered the questions really unique. Sweet.

  20. Hi Claudia, realise that you’ve already commented on my latest piece, but still got caught by tonight’s theme and your interpretation too…

    In the following lines – what you love about that which:

    “bring(s) out in me
    what i can’t see//or feel
    myself, a life-long search&challenge” says a great deal, I think…

    With Best Wishes Scott

  21. There is just so much in these few lines:

    “i probably haven’t learned to love someone” i say
    and stay, abutted to my favorite colors

    that bring out in me
    what i can’t see//or feel
    myself, a life-long search&challenge”

    wow…

  22. “and run my hands across a fine black line,
    a little mosk, palm, rooftops
    sweat and sand and seabreeze in their paint
    a few months later Macke fell”

    I enjoyed the rhythm of the lines above… it felt like we were moving through time

  23. I’m not which I like better: your poetry or your paintings. You certainly have a wonderful way with both! I love the phrase: “i pour paint onto a palette
    somewhere in the face of africa”. Very cool piece!

  24. I like how you mix elements in your poem – it is like mixing art and colors and reality and fantasy.

    To me, your words and your painting show a lively happy person. :-)

  25. in airports it’s always easier to speak to strangers, knowing you’ll not see them again. is it easier to ask others, than ourselves, these questions? ~

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