Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Tuesday Poem - Masking Tape's a Must


Malcolm tapes the things he draws, fixes them
to wall and floor. It's all very well when it's Ruth
he's watching, captive on her chair, or the bricks
outside the window; never a problem with buildings
or bridges or scissors left to dent the paint-pocked
bench. Light, on the other hand, is a different story.
Always on the move, it's just beyond his reach;
a sly yellow pelt sidling in through fractured glass,
rolling wantonly across the tongue-and-groove
floor, slipping into shadow cracks, behind the bent
old door. And no, he can't tape wind and rain.
Or clouds. They won't hold still - there's no use trying
to mark out where they've been or where they might 
be heading. He has no choice but to pocket his tape
and let them go. Leaving his room at the end of the day 
is like leaving a crime scene. "I kind of like that,"
says Malcolm and shrugs as he does.


Andrew Bell is this week's Tuesday Poem editor -
visit the TP hub where other worlds await you. 


  1. I love the central idea of this poem. We humans are a bit too keen to exert control. "Sly yellow pelt" is a fantastic image.

  2. Very cool, it's like you've tapped into the informal theme this week - and created something quite astonishing. I especially like the final two lines.

  3. Hello Ben Hur - Andrew - thank you for your comment. We are often too keen to exert control, I agree. We do this most when we are afraid, I think. When we walk lightly, approach our life and work and play, etc. . . trustingly, we are better able to relinquish our need for specific outcomes and (what we perceive to be) order? Even in painting this is so. I believe we reach 'further in' when we surrender to the image that's taking shape on the page, allow the image to take us for a walk, rather than the other way round. It's less of a tussle that way!

    Your Venus poem is still with me. Thank you.

  4. Hi Alicia - isn't it intriguing how themes emerge amongst the TP community each week? That says something, I reckon. (I could write an essay on 'what' but will resist!). Thanks for coming by - oh, and re; the final two lines of this poem. . . Malcolm's studio (not his real name) really did look like a crime scene at the end of each day, everything masked in place as he'd had it the day before, and the day before that - - so long as he was working on one drawing or painting, he'd not want anything moved. Or, if moved, he'd want to be able to place it back exactly where he'd had it. It worked for him and his super-real images. His work, with its extraordinary attention to detail both makes me hold my breath (it's so exacting) and takes my breath away. ; )

  5. i like the end, like the up being on a swing and then the feet plant in the sand

  6. The "sly yellow pelt" caught me as well, for surely it would seem so to one who wished to capture it in any sense. Makes me think of how it all, pretty much, is elusive...what can be caught and held without becoming something different than what it was? How worthy of celebration, those moments when we transfer idea to page without too much being lost in the translation.

  7. Hi Maggie - yes, and what you say is so true of Life. . . the 'up being of the swing' and the 'foot plant in the sand'.

    Life is - we are - like one giant pendulum!

    Not long now till Ever makes her entrance. . . Oh, joy. Thinking of you all. L, C.

  8. Hello Marylinn - I agree, everything seems pretty much elusive. Certainly, my current experience is that the more I try to pin things down, the more determined they become to wriggle beyond reach or into a different shape. The instruction seems to be to be let things be and unfold without trying to impose too much control or expectation on any of it. Hmm. Easier said than done.

    As you wisely say, 'How worthy of celebration, those moments when we transfer idea to page without too much being lost in the translation.'

    Celebrations are something to say 'yes' to, no matter what shape, time or form they announce themselves in. ; )

    Love to you,

  9. I've found your blog through Radish King -- and it's a wonderful find --

  10. Hello, Elizabeth - welcome! I've enjoyed your company over at Rebecca's in recent days and this morning popped over to spend some time on your blogs. A pleasure to meet you. Looking forward to an ongoing conversation. Take care. C

  11. Peter - aka Kraxprelax - what a wide reach you have! I'm not sure how you do it! Thanks for visiting. I visited back ; )