Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Busy Month

I have several shows beginning and ending this month and we are hosting 3 house concerts as well.  ( http://houseconcertsunlimited.com) Just picked up 3 pieces that won entry into the Gilcrease Impressionist show in it's satellite gallery downtown, delivered one to Living Arts' Oh Tulsa Show, Delivered one to OVAC for its 12x12, entered 3 pieces in the Illinois River Salon, and still painting for Scott's and my upcoming 2 person show, " In Tandem"  which will be a show of paired poetry and paintings that will open on the first Friday of November.  I think that show will be a really wonderful one.  It has been a real interesting process as Scott writes mostly about people and feelings and inner life and I am a representational artist.  We will both have to stretch on this one and that is a good thing for both of us.
Here is a sample poem that I will work from:


CECIL


Cecil keeps our yard trim as a sailor’s beard-
not a blade of grass out of place.
With a surveyor’s eye he places poles along
the hedge row,
making Grandma’s English Boxwoods
level as poured cement,
stretching the length of the drive.

He starts early and works through, into the
heat of the day.
I am just a boy.
Cecil comes to back door, hat in hand, like a child asking a favor of a man.
“Mr. Jo Eddie’s grandson, you ‘spose I could have me some ‘freshment?”
I go under sink where grandma keeps the
drink, pour comfort from a bottle.
I place a capful in a glass, fill the rest with water.
It turns the color of rosin.

That’ll do, Mr. Jo Eddie’s grandson, don’t need no ice.
He tips his head, tosses the drink, and wipes
his mouth.
It is a litany of motion.

Five drinks into the day, his tools put away,
Cecil comes to the door-  a final drink to stay
the blues away.

I being home alone,
Cecil points with fingered bone
towards ivories lined up in a row.
“Mr. Jo Eddie’s grandson, I can make that
coffin sing.
Some folks they scared a dyin’, but they ain’t got that rhythm thang.”

Cecil straddles piano bench, with one leg north, the other east,
to work the pedals, to keep the beat.
With both hands poised on whitened keys,
his long black fingers fill spaces,
make dark holes in the music,
as he begins a slow growl, a low moan.
“How…how…how…uh…uh…unh.
Gonna’ chase those blues.
How…how…how…uh…uh…unh.
Gonna’ chase those blues.”

Bowed over the keys, eyes closed,
Cecil is there in some sepia-toned place. 

It seems with every note, with every chord,
Cecil spills more of himself between the keys,
as though the music is drinking him one note
at a time.

With an ear bent to the ivories, listening for the sound of suffering as it leaves his fingertips;
Cecil’s hand begins to jitter, and juke, and then to jive,
into some boogie-woogie slide.

 His huge black hands, like crows,
flap the width of the piano,
as  Cecil tosses back his head, enraptured.


I am just a boy held in time. 
Watching.

As Cecil’s shoulders sway in time to the beat,
mouth open, he eats.

Drinking notes, swallowing chords,
half-digested they come spilling forth,
crude and primitive.
A truer sound.

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