i buy my white in 2(point)something liter buckets now

twelve lines in// brush thick with paint
filling up the corners, a window frame, soft wings
of the nose&giant trees grow
on her bare back// fragile like

a turtle-wrinkled sky& black-rimmed glasses, breathing
in a land, chockfull with spices of the orient,
she smiles away, the day
has wrapped himself in silky ribbons
grinning from a spire, one foot slipping to the edge
the other—finding hold in a gargoyle’s grim face/spitting

on my palette is a map of undiscovered spots,
a gurgling tune
as the infusion dripDriPdRips into her vein &someone says
“she’s still alive” //i don’t believe them

over at dVerse Björn has us write 14 line poems with a volta… doors open at 3pm EST…


36 responses to “i buy my white in 2(point)something liter buckets now

  1. the last stanza really makes this for me claudia…the map of undiscovered spots…how we breathe life into the unbelievable when we engage in our arts….maybe even us a bit…the places we are unsure are still living…

  2. A window frame with soft wings. I love that image. And her fragile, bare back. Oh, and the last stanza is perfection.

  3. First I really like some of your unique images, like the turtle-wrinkled sky.. but more than that the volta where you take us from images to a hospital room.. and really all the images make sense and make me read the poem all over again.. Brilliant

  4. I have a completely different take on this – yes, there is something about the artist, the creator, the world of possibilities and undiscovered spots on your palette… but there is also white for mourning, white for forgetfulness, for wiping out the past… and although she smiles, there’s a gargoyle’s face there too.

  5. Oh, this is intriguing story as you paint in your style the characters, esp. the foot ‘finding hold in a gargoyle’s grim face/spitting’ makes me wonder….hope we will have chance to see it alive…

  6. Incredible. Such images you paint with your words. And then the last stanza….watching that infusion dripDriPdRips….drop by drop…is that unknown space on the palette death? a new way of living? another plane of existence? wonderful wonderful poem.

  7. I think the real change came with the gargoyle – as it led to the spots which changed the poem from a painting to a waiting and the tone felt colder, more worrisome, more fraught with fear. Beautiful and deep work, Claudia.

  8. Like the others, I find the last stanza powerful and sobering. For me, white is the color of hospitals, or at least it used to be. They seem to have more colorful rooms and clothes these days. And I too hope she is alive.

  9. Oy, everyone is seeing different things in the spaces you leave for us in this poem! Haha–it is itself quite a palette. Perhaps she fell off a roof, and perhaps it is a dream–a painting of a person in an impossible balance, but fun, and with wings and ribbons and trees and a window frame. ..and maybe the drip drip is brush/pen and not a vein? in poems so image full, I never care about form. (When you started off with white, I thought you meant race–but I’ve been working too hard on isms and issues!)

  10. A wonderful narration of what’s going through throes of wanting to live captured on canvas to be later introduced to the volta that the person is alive. Great write Claudia!


  11. “A map of undiscovered spots” You do know how to travel to the best places. Of course your magical pallet makes all the difference Claudia!

  12. 12 lines in —> THEN the Volta.
    Funny that we named it after a man. In medicine, we are undoing men’s names from everything.

    The TURN!

    BTW, in line 8 did you mean himself or herself? Threw me a bit.

    But then, I did not know who she was. The comments always help a little. Though I loved the images and your TURN took me to my world of medicine. And I wondered, “Is this a metaphor for a sad medical happening” or “The plight of an artist, given in a medical metaphor.

    Either way or none, I enjoyed it.
    Thank you

  13. All the white broiught me to a hospital and the colorful images of somenone while unconscious. It changed at the gargoyle line to more ominous images while becoming conscious and realizing she’s not dead. Vivid and intriguing.

  14. This was a captivating read, making the sudden shift of perspective at the end all the more startling. I re-read it as the canvas and palette being in your mind (always the painter now, even when not physically doing it). And I’m afraid I’m with you — I so absorbed and identified with your perception that if you don’t believe them, I don’t either.

  15. Always transportive, Claudia. If that’s even a word. 🙂 Transportational?

    Thank you for your brush strokes that fill the corners and spill over the frames, coating all the walls of the Orangerie and the Louvre combined.

    Off to wrap my evening in silky ribbons now, to the chockfull tune of orient spiced tea.


  16. Well I certainly believe them. I love the unexpected turn from the the vivacious examples of life and color to the telltale signs of life in a pulse. This feels like living in a dream, looking for some semblance of realism. Enjoyable read.

  17. Wow. Seems so light-hearted, “the day wrapping himself in silky ribbons” and then, wham! the drip drip drip into the veins. Totally different sense (as intended). Brava, Claudia! Love the gargoyle spitting spots onto maps. So cool. Thank you.

  18. Hey Claudia–I very much enjoyed the image of you buying paint–my favorite art store in the world–an institution–Pearl Paint–closed very suddenly due to some kind of legal/tax I don’t know what issue–a shock to New York–those who painted!

    A lovely be-ribboned day here. k.