may made it halfway through//abstracted

dunno what it was, actually–
(hate to admit) but used to
laugh about his paintings

cause i didn’t understand,
3o million for a pic, i mean,
with nothing on it– really–

i’ve come to see Jeff Koons
but– Rothko captures me,
i stand, rooted, wings
wide, spread between dark soil &
unsure whatElse– clueless,

there’s no title, plum and
dark brown– that’s it– i put in
my own– subCaption, track’Ndream,

the watchman watches me,
serious & motionless, how
i sink deeper, taste of sugar,
plum and soil thick on my
tongue, lips– // SilenCe,
thousand rubbers straps,

stret–ching, ST-retcH–ing–

’til it hurts, bReAk, i’m there or–
“1903 to 1970–” says someone,

sNa_P__ (unheard)

the watchman turns & i–
move on, just like we all do


it’s OpenLinkNight again at dVerse, which means that we’re serving poetry and only poetry all night…come, grab your pen and join us…gates open at 3pm EST


84 responses to “may made it halfway through//abstracted

  1. I guess I stare at them an wonder like you did…well I guess I still do not having seen them up front and personal. 🙂 Again you provide a unique moment in time.

  2. I feel that way about a lot of abstract art. It looks like something I could have done and wished I had for the price of it. You put the feeling into words well, Claudia. No arguments from me.

  3. Have you seen that there’s a Kandinksy expected to fetch $30 million in November at Christie’s? Seems like a magic figure ~ who knew?

    Love this poem Claudia ~ so ‘of the moment’ ~ I breathe it with you.

  4. smiles…i hear you in this…my appreciation for art has continued to grow over the years and my understanding as well…and sometimes you just have to release yourself to the art and let it take you where you will…i was smiling at the guard watching you…and then the move on line at the end…i laughed at its truth…

  5. 30mil, gosh I could do with just 1mil. Abstracts are mysterious gems. The artist might not know what it was going to be initially and what it had finally become. When it was all over only then they would give it a title. Some were unsure and named it ‘untitled’. Nice way to earn your keeps. Nicely, Claudia!


  6. While I adore art and museums, the artists studio gives me such a high. All the time I have spent in Atelier Cezanne unable to breath… I get lost in a trance as I wait for the master to return.
    Art gives all the senses a wake-up call. Great job Claudia!

  7. “i stand, rooted, wings
    wide, spread between dark soil &
    unsure whatElse– clueless,”

    This is wonderfully expressive. I love the abstract quality of these three verses.

  8. Plum and soil a great way to describe Rothko as well as sun and I don’t know what else (soul! – desperation! transcendance -) – personally I really dislike Jeff Koons – agh! = but I love Rothko–he is really just wonderful – just wonderful. The guard watching you here is so lovely – I have a very different poem about a sort of – well different experience – in Italy with museum guards –

    But this is lovely. And you describe the rhythm of the museum so well.

    If you go to my blog before OLN one is posted (not written ha!) – right now top post is photos -not so great but did another tritina under that one. k.

  9. Abstract & modern art has always fascinated me, for too often it looks like they used a chimpanzee, bribed with bananas, to create it; like Picasso deciding that bicycle handles would become bull’s horns. Great ride on this one.

  10. Sometimes I just don’t ‘get’ abstract art at all. I know the artist knows what’s what but, the audience doesn’t have a clue. Like some make a brick wall, or place a pile of poop in a container and call it art. I’m not sure I’d see a blank canvas apart from brown and a plum as art either but, each to their own and that’s what makes us all so interesting because we are all so different. This was a lovely look at a snippet of your world. I loved the British museum for its treasures and the one in Brighton too.

  11. I have trouble with the abstract, not just in art. But I suppose the time spent trying to understand something has some value. And yes, we all move on.

    I love how you captured this experience because I think we can all relate to it.

  12. I love abstract and non-representational art and still sometimes require a dose of humility to get inside the work. You’ve done a beautiful job letting us in on the process, being taken by surprise, arrested so to speak. Wonderful!

  13. Getting someone to stand there and experience the painting the way this poem does, must gratify any artist who has it happen–it’s hard for me to enjoy non-representational art, but sometimes, you feel the power in it, the intensity just trying to shake you and tell you what it means. Love this one, Claudia, and the watchman is a very interesting element, archetypical perhaps of another part of the brain than the eyes.

  14. Art is definitely subjective, but I find that creators of truly great modern art have to first survive the crucible of traditional art. Picasso was only truly innovative after he had mastered the techniques of the Old Masters. Withouot that education and subtext, his work would not have the same power or efficacy.

  15. Grinning, almost giggling at your reaction and the watchman. Hey look at it this way, you coulda been captured by some idiot at a cocktail party and forced to say something cocktail-witty about abstract art. At least you escaped. Now I’m thinking of the 30 mil and what could be done with that…lordy! Love your in the moment style here, Claudia!

  16. Love the way you captured this moment and the snap-break of concentration as you pass from one to the next. I’ve been amused multiple times watching people actually get angry over abstract art…and of course their own ideas about what constitutes such.

  17. I remember just such a piece in a museum. It was a canvas, framed, with a piece of cloth hanging out the bottom. I thought, “Really?” I enjoyed the reminder and the poetry, as always.

  18. Stretching-and-SNAP!
    As a rotten-toothed youth, I’d get one at a time pulled, using gas. And my dream was A L W A Y S as you describe (the feeling, anyway). What a POEM, Claudia!

    Hedgewitch writes it well–my comment, maybe I’ll just copy hers in the future LOL!

    Gotta look up this art, not familiar to me–spent too much time fiddling around–grin!

    AND, Claudia, have I told you I love your profile pic?–grin!
    You appear so “kissable”!

  19. I do not understand abstract modern art. Spent a day at MOMA in NYC a couple years ago, and just didn’t get most of it. Though I don’t think I really took the time to stare at anything and try to get a feel or taste (sugar?) for it. There’s just too much other art in the world that appeals to me immediately on sight. Peace, Linda

  20. Big money for ANY art makes me smile, as if you can purchase a piece of some soul…. And Rothko…. Gives you room to get lost in but connect you to something greater too, almost religious at times….

  21. Claudia, I love this poem; really love it’s own abstract qualities. It’s fun! I, and I assume most of us are the same where abstract art is concerned. We don’t want to admit our stupidity, or ignorance because we don’t know what the painting means. However, the lines, ” taste of sugar,plum and soil thick on mytongue, lips” shows you expressing fully the arresting effects on your senses, a large part of what art is about- and you have expressed it with an admirable style and confidence. Very nice…

  22. OMG! Those last two lines are so intense, so totally overwhelming! The fleeting nature of beauty and appreciation for finely tuned things that cross our senses, like a photo or painting that moves us, captures us entirely, sometimes for no legible reason…. leaving us bathed in this wonderful, sensual appreciation. And then the watchman turns and we move along like good little sheep….. Claudia, you are an absolute genius!

  23. i like characters voice in your work. it seems a real life retrospect of viewing some art. 🙂 I enjoyed my read here.

  24. Wonderful response to the painting. We do all just keep shuffling on to the next thing. Ther’s no way to just stand forever in front of something, even if it’s worthy.

  25. When I was younger, I had no appreciation of fine art, the classics…I think life brings us the wisdom we need to appreciate such things…much like the fabulous lines you have laced throughout this piece. Brilliant!

  26. I love this because I KNOW this. I just took two 6 year olds to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and it was so amazing when something caught them like that…

    • Excellent writing on trials of understanding abstract art ~ I believe the tension is framed
      by your image of ‘stretch’ & ‘release’. Sometimes that is how I feel in coming to my own story ~ what do I take from this abstract art piece! It literally talks back to eac of us!

  27. Yes..I do that too. I LOVE abstracts – the way they pull you into them, become one with them, become dark foreboding, entrancing, part of a thought, a color, a nightmare, a daydream, a future. Well written here!

  28. its how i go about with poetry too….grins…sometimes…i read and re read and for the life of me, i do not get what the writer was trying to convey and what everybody is oohing about….but then…like your poem conveys..each one of us draws our own meanings and relish it….

  29. I have come to stand in front of Rothko just like that–at times mesmerized at times remembering an event in those tones–and, rarely, feeling the tension in my heart that lets go so I can go. I like this description of the indescribable along with the humor of the moving and still environment.

  30. a cool write Claudia – i like Koons but Rothko is from another place . . .

    i sat in front of my first Rothko in ’98 fresh from a near-death which
    i couldnt describe . . . and there it was – writ large on a canvas the size
    of a hospital bed . . . Everything and Nothing . . .

    Koons is disposable pap, which is part of its appeal
    a perfect contrast and reaction to a Rothkovian statement

    thanks for reminding me of it
    and taking me there thru your POV 😀

  31. “…serious & motionless, how
    i sink deeper, taste of sugar,
    plum and soil thick on my
    tongue, lips…”

    Enjoyed the poem, and the way you were open to seeing and feeling so much more than just “colors” in the abstract art. I give you credit for taking time to study and observe. I am more of a traditional and classical art kind of person, myself. And the museum of one of my favorite artist/illustrator’s, Norman Rockwell, is just an hour away from my home.

  32. I love, love art now… but I didn’t always appreciate it. I have my dad to thank for making me slow and take the time to just look.

  33. fantastic reflections here. Love it when something hits us, and we just know, we have to write about it. Got that impression here, and so many really great lines here. Thanks

  34. fun images — to me, the challenge of abstract art shares much with some free-verse writers: the eye/mind is not led, but offered only random bread crumbs through the artist’s forest.

  35. Beautiful! Reminds me of how I used not to understand what was so good about Picasso’ abstracts — until I sat long in front of his Weeping Woman one day, and became able to see what a profound depiction of grief it is.

  36. This is such a unique piece, especially the held in thin air feeling before the snap. I’ll glad that you allowed yourself in, “clueless” with an empty plate, you ended up with so much to taste. Really lovely and intriguing poem.

  37. Now THAT gives me shivers… From normal admiration of art… trying to figure what the artist was thinking/feeling… to reality snapping. Onlookers see the same normal person but inside there is a difference.

    Superbly done!

  38. I love Rothko. I have a calendar on the wall of his works which I looked over at when I read your piece. What is it about his works? One of my favorites is “Orange and Yellow” …which is all it is. It is funny…so simple, so captivating.

  39. Well, it’s not for everybody. For our first date, I took my V to see a show of black and white Rothkos. That’s right, not even color. She joked, “Which is your favorite?” I still think it’s funny, still love Rothko, and V and I are still together after many years.

  40. A great write – I know next to nothing about art but I do occasional see some interesting stuff come my way via many sources, I find art in the strangest of places like in the intricate tracks on a computers motherboard

  41. I love this:
    “serious & motionless, how
    i sink deeper, taste of sugar,
    plum and soil thick on my
    tongue, lips” … What a beautiful way to describe the intake of artistic flavors.

    This is exactly how to attack abstract art:
    “there’s no title, plum and
    dark brown– that’s it– i put in
    my own– subCaption”

    Once you get past trying to figure out the artist’s intended meaning, you’re able to create your own.

  42. You have a way with painting in words as you describe the scene of a piece of art. I never understood paying $30 million either, but then I’m not a billionaire 😛

  43. Isn’t it like that with art. Someone goes by and simply moves on and someone else stop mesmerized and the canvas speaks to them and says things no one else can hear or will ever know. Love this write.

  44. “i’ve come to see Jeff Koons
    but– Rothko captures me,
    i stand, rooted, wings
    wide, spread between dark soil &
    unsure whatElse– clueless…”

    Hi! Claudia…Thank-you, for sharing your very poetic words so vividly, that I know Of which Mark Rothko’s painting that you are describing here: “there’s no title, plum and dark brown– that’s it– i put in my own– subCaption, track’Ndream…”

    deedee 🙂