in fact// i put the brush aside to write this


i cut red cabbage into tiny slices, onions
add a glass of red wine, chestnuts,
on the other plate
simmers a pot of venison

a starry sky so different from van gogh’s
of paint dots in my hair, arms, cheeks

“can we finish one thing properly before we start the next?”
my husbands says, a little angry&
i try–

my shoulders ache
from painting overhead
potato stamps wait half-cut, watercolor, brush
“not sure if this works out” i mumble,
wipe my hands, lay the table
“i invited miriam” i smile,

balancing around an unhinged door,
bathroom mirror//
on the floor, three paint pots
“has to dry now– will continue later”
&it’s close to midnite
cleaning-rags dance in a tight embrace
with spilled paint, cobwebs,

drapes breathe in the night air, flower fields,
the ones, that i sewed yesterday,
that look like little moons
in abstract landscape
&the humming of my old machine
as threads slide through a mace of steel

touch story after story
listening, my hands brush over seams
of dresses for the girls,
piles of pants for tim//for me

&all that’s whispering along
her patient melody


for dVerse where Victoria has us write ART..


31 responses to “in fact// i put the brush aside to write this

  1. My favorite lines – cleaning rags dance in a tight embrace, the flower fields (fun curtains from potato stamps that look like moons) and ‘story after story’..havoc, yet you took notice of every detail and made the poem sing like the sewing machine…

  2. Well.. top of the early early morning to ya Claudia.. and i continue to love the way you incorporate your poetic expressions to meet the regular of everyday life and to celebrate it as amazing life still…

    And that’s truly what you do here.. in the ART of LIFE.. overall…

    successfully as such.. from brush to ceiling in full tow of life!

  3. You have painted an abstract of life, Claudia. Sometimes one thing is not finished before the next is begun…but in the end, not unlike a sketch in a sketchbook or a poem, it all comes together in the end.

  4. Thanks for laying down the brush and for picking itup again–a rhythm that–like that of the sewing machine and keyboard–whisper patience, melody, harmony. What a busy poem!

  5. I think red cabbage is perfect in winter and have a sweet and sour recipe I like. It is nice to see how your room develops throughout your poetry. Like your husband, I can find the mess a bit overwhelming but in the end it is the result that counts, isn’t it?

  6. Living & loving life to the fullest is always an Art form, & if your poetry reflects much of your actual life, & I suspect that it does, then I am preaching to the choir here. I do not have the strength, balance, or dexterity to paint my own house any more, but back in the day, I used to enjoy it; even had a stinky bag of old paint clothes in the closet, & one old pair of glasses mostly speckled with yesterday’s rainbow. Liked your lines /a starry sky so different from van gogh’s/of paint dots in my hair, arms, cheeks/.

  7. I’m laughing–my husband’s a very messy, but oh-so-good cook. Let’s see what happens when I get back to Reno.

    I love everything about this poem–so full of great detail, fun. I really want to see a photo when it’s all done. You would love our new kitchen here in the desert. It’s so open–lots of space to clean up after.

  8. I love each detail – the paint dots, the supper simmering, the little moons – beautifully painted and filled with charm – we are in the midst of re-doing our main floor bathroom – in colors of sea glass, frosted pale green, aqua, blue and gray- cant wait for it to be completed!

  9. Beautifully written, Claudia. Your opening stanza made me hungry! I haven’t potato stamped in years–makes me want to give it a try again with my kids. Lovely, lovely piece.

  10. Pretty cool close in the end there, how it all blends in—each art its own song but together forming a much larger composition and how you feel that in your fingers as they run over them. Potato stamps can be fun. Part of art is realizing that it does not all work, but for fear of failing, if we do not try, we will miss it, every time.

  11. It’s so challenging to go on with ‘life as usual’, when we undertake projects in the house. I like how you included so many facets of this. Hope you finish soon.