Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Fondation Hartung Bergman Poems 1

Half of the sequence of poems I wrote at juice's amazing residency in France with MaJiKer. If I wasn't writing music I was writing poems. Many of these reference Hans Hartung and Anna-Eva Bergmanthe artist couple who built, lived and worked at the incredible modernist residence.

everything that they needed is still here:
light that kicks on white stone
birds snipping diamonds out of the air
cloud-drift rasping over the pines,
which have an assuredness I’m envious of

olive trees, three hundred years old,
lean their elbows on the walls
of the pool, taking in the water
and its merry-making with light –
a paint-fight, happily spattered,
like those canvases which didn’t stop,
their arteries spraying out onto the
vast concrete walls

the canvas is stabbed like a heart,
the knife yanked back and it all comes
gushing out, a life-flash in paint:
the explosion of birth the hurt the love
the shouts of joy the mixing of languages
bodies juices the babble the tongues
the thousands of hands clamouring
the battles the shocks the rain
a race down the zip-line of memory
one long ululation towards death

and at night
when the winds are still
the pool becomes a dreamtime

unbreathing, you swim up to walls
which turn you and turn with you
showing their ancient, secret side
- Anna-Eva, dreaming of Miro:

her violet-black rooms and iridescent cave-shapes
of things you never thought possible
blueprints for mazes and animal kings
men who can fly, the shape of the sun’s eye
and otherworlds connected by shining threads

breathing and in the air again
the patterns of the pool dance
a fire-circle in your skull

and now it’s just me and the night
and the clouds that are like galaxies falling in

Hartung moves along the walls, spraying
orange tree-shadows on the stone

and I’m sure something will rise up out of the pool
or maybe the pool itself will lift, a slab of water
levitating above its grave, defying it

each star has a different plumage and way of hovering
and each is waiting to swoop and pluck out my tongue
we think the sky is arced
but it is us, leaning back on our heels
trying to pull the universe around us like cloak

The sky just


there’s lemon, and rosemary,
and pink petals lolling in hot water
daisy-fresh goat’s cheese
and tapenade black as rain-rich earth
anchovies, eggs seduced by butter
and tomatoes loosening in their skins
but I suck, stickylip, on the sun’s last fingers
its sugarcreamspongepuddingness, drip drip…

the pines’ rusting bars prong open
the shadows lean the other way
I inch my way along the wall, mugging
like a criminal in a silent comedy
trying to stay in the sun


the night is a wallflower finally chosen
each star-speck flicked onto shimmer-mode
as his trumpet picks them out, one by one

and that voice

the pool unstills, shivers as his vibrato
slinks in, playing with its light-ribbons

his phrases powdering into indigo breaths
which tinge the far hills


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