Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Tao of Franz Kline


Brushstrokes black as smokestacks, black as derricks,
black as scorched wicks. Black as the inside of a boot.
Smear of grease on a mechanic's cheek.
A black wing against a sky white as freshly poured concrete,
white as rolling papers. A train trestle clatters across
the oily river. Spokes of a wheel click and whir.
A turkey buzzard dives from a half-finished scaffold.
A ragged jackdaw darkens the bleached asphalt. 
All the colors and gradations 
of the world have dropped away, replaced by 
rogue sumi-e slashes, Zen koans gone haywire.
The days motionless yet fleeting.
We are shadows cast against the plaster.
We are flapping canvases stiff with tar.
We are lumps of coal blanketed by the snow.
Our skeletons charred black,
stark against a sky white as bone.

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