trust me, it’s a nightmare for some paintings to hang in a sterile, air-conditioned space

the poet’s in a painting/ in a cage
“can you touch me?”
“nope– i’m not supposed to”

he’s stretched
across a wooden skeleton that bends
under the weight
two hinges hold the middle part in place– call it the core&
somewhat sloppy but–

the gallery’s a fort
“surveillance cams i trust?” i shrug
my shoulders

“you’re not allowed to photograph”
a lady says&

i don’t want to but just rub his chest to warm–

“you knew that– right?
life’s hot breath on the asphalt, cement–

“city streets” he says, “a pub, the mud club
or a beach, that’s–”

&the sidewalks smeared with ketchup stains
which in a way is art
too– realness versus perfect
maybe one excludes the other

&the lake embraces me with wet,
cool arms as snow-capped alps sink slowly in its lap

&every wave
carries another question


you know – the gallery was great and a perfect frame for warhol and the others – just i felt a bit sad for the basquiat paintings as there’s so much energy and life in them – and i thought they just need to be somewhat closer to where life happens…


17 responses to “trust me, it’s a nightmare for some paintings to hang in a sterile, air-conditioned space

  1. Love the sound of this: “a pub, the mud club”

    And there’s so much truth in the closing couplet.

  2. Oh Claudia – how wonderful! I love it all of it! And the hot asphalt – something I need to write about. It brought a smile to my lips. 😉

  3. You are right.. galleries can feel a little bit too sterile sometimes… maybe we should bring the paintings for a walk sometimes.. Love how your expression in painting evolves… they seem to form a symbiosis with your words.

  4. I hear you. I think the best art comes from just being in the midst of life. It comes from life. We hopefully never get to the point where we to feel alive. There was an artist I met once that created his paintings with texture and encouraged others to touch it because he felt that was part of the experience. Ketchup can def be artistic.

  5. I love this Claudia. I get it. Art is meant to be lived and it lives best in the midst of us. And we can see art in ketchup stains, or blood I guess. Love how you bring in the lake and the Alps melting into it. And somehow your painting enhances all the words. Wow. Yes, i envy your talent. Wow!

  6. There’s a hell of a lot we’re not supposed to do, but I say do it anyway. Photograph, step over the barrier and feel the surface of the paint on the picture, why should we care if we get thrown out? Once a painting is executed it is ours – it no longer belongs to the artist. Discuss.

    Seeing art in ketchup stains is almost Situationist in concept. I have always seen islands, continents, I should have been a geographer, not a poet.

    I love to experience your poetry every day.

    • ha – it may not belong to the artist but to the new owner – and if he says don’t touch i will respect this of course…

  7. … still love street art and street performers of any kind the best … cuz they are the true blue artists … not too refined and above it all … yet … galleries to me mean: The emperor’s new clothes … des Kaisers neue Kleider, hmmm?

  8. Like how you took the subject from small detail to the open wide world..after all, the world is made up of many smaller galleries and a part of the largest the universe.

  9. So galleries do seem like forts….I keep expecting to hear a voice from above saying that I haven’t given careful enough consideration of a given painting. 🙂

  10. Hey Claudia, Basquiat was just beginning to paint when I first lived in New York. He was doing graffiti under the name Samo. He was really interesting back then. I agree with you re ketchup stains! Thanks for mix of alps and art. K.

  11. You set the emotion so vividly with the opening. Truly a crime agains humanity!

    “the poet’s in a painting/ in a cage
    “can you touch me?”
    “nope– i’m not supposed to”

    I frequently put on music while at the easel. Classical or something foreign in a language I am unfamiliar with. It can take you to amazing places and it leaves its personal imprint.