Art

GRAFFITI

Poets
By virtue of writing
Short pieces
Must be artists
Capturing a molecule
Of time and space
Some are portrait painters
Or intricate land- or
Seascapers
Revealing a tiny
Slice-of-life story
Me?
My genre is
Graffiti
Pressing my can of
Spray paint furtively
Sloppy lines, symbols,
Words
You glance at my hidden work
In dark city alleys
No real artistry
Or on rust-ridden overpasses
Where hanging off
My cement canvas
Dangling without a safety net
I bring you my best work
So if you take the time to study
The bones of the painting
The mythology of my esoteric
Scribbles
It will be clear
In my primitive way
I sure do have a lot to say
And sometimes there’s a glint of
Wisdom
Sometimes
But do you see…?

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Overpass Graffiti

JACK-OF-ALL-ARTS or FOCUS, PLEASE!

(another page in my poetic diary about self-doubt)

 

Surprisingly longer life
Than expected
(Not complaining, keep it coming!)
Been a Jack-of-all-arts
Master of none
Trying to perfect
Trying to understand
Everything
While soul-castle
Labors behind ramparts

Self-Prometheused
(Before Zeus caught me)
Directing my fire
To music and words
To painting and herbs
To daylight birds
And night sky mysteries
But always intimidated
By the experts

(Caught by leaves in the sun daily
Or pecked by the god’s eagle
Punishment for sharing my fire
With you)

Each art has been a
Swatch of color
You think too much, Gran said
But politics and correctness
Invade my brain
No one expects France
To give Mona back to
The Italians
Why did TS Eliot
Rhyme Michelangelo with “GO” *
Instead of Picasso
(Van go, yeah, I know,
Pronounced in a clearing-the-throat style)
How can I finish
When questions mock and diminish?

Is there a pecking order of musical genres?
Classical, Classic Rock,
Country, Folk, Jazz
All the way down to World?
Determining factor money
(Of course)
Yet we continue creating
With fame as a driving force

So if these questions prevent me
From pouring my entire heart
Into creating
Perhaps I should pursue
A Philosopher’s degree
(My autistic monologuing fits!)

No, because here’s the word
I search for but lack:
Talent
Innate Talent
Can practice
Try
Scream at the Muse
One’s genetics accuse
But the elusive ingredient
I am convinced
Must be present
In order to go from a Jack to a King
(Or Queen)
Talent…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Chained at the mercy of birds

*TS Eliot’s The Love Song of  J. Alfred Prufrock

INK

Secret gift
Given in childhood
Ink in a pen
Brain and hand
Sync
Solving crosswords in ink
Whether correct or not
Writing music on blank scores
Whether melodious or not
Meticulously sketching
Whether in perspective or not
Each life has a story plot
Crosswords, poems, music, art
Will be correct one day
Whether a clear or rocky pathway
Because ink in a pen
Is mightier than the sword
Extracting the warrior
Hiding inside that
Little girl or boy
Ink and paper
The most perfect toy…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Writing3

MOMENT OF IMMINENT ACTION

O, that moment of imminent action
When a confluence of worlds intersect
All is possible
Like The Death of Socrates
as he reaches for his hemlock
Iconic cup of forced suicide
What will he do? Recant?
It would change history
But the speechifying continues
Outcome clear
“Don’t!” I shout to the painting
As if there is no known conclusion
Might as well scream at the hero of a horror flick
“Don’t go down the cellar/up the attic/outside to the shed”
And now, in modern times
I find myself screaming at the dumb teenager:
“Charge your phone!”

O that special moment
Time etched on canvas in paint
And the Universe holds its breath
As I hesitate
And then say, “Sure, we might as well get married”
Maybe not as important as Hector
About to be murdered by Achilles
Can he surrender and live to fight
Another day?
And why do I
Focus on marriage?
Surely I regret giving up
Guitar, writing, tarot
Perhaps it’s just feeling Blue
During this Red, Green and Gold holiday
But junctures appear, innocently beckoning
And I so wish there had been
A painting depicting that imminent action
Something I could have studied and thought about
Before opening my mouth
And just maybe
Unlike Socrates and Hector
That moment could have been deflected
A lone laser point harmlessly careening
Into endless space…

death of hector by Achilles Peter Paul Rubens

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGES: Jacques-Louis David, Death of Socrates (public domain)
Peter Paul Rubens, Death of Hector (public domain)

NEURODIVERSE ROMP

(WITH YANG HUI, PASCAL & DURER)

ONE

Feel like I wandered into
Pascal’s Triangle
Me, a rogue number
In my Neurodiverse way
Destroying binomial coefficients
While other numbers roll their
Equivalent to human eyes
They boot me out
And I fall into Yang Hui’s Triangle
Discovered centuries before Pascal’s
The coefficients here
Are more polite
Maybe they’re rolling their eyes
But the number beside me
Suggests I’d be happier
Checking out Yang Hui’s
Magic Square or Circles

TWO

I was so awful at Geometry
Although loving numbers and
The math magic of number 9
But here I am
Welcomed by the Magical All
And I wonder
If we on the Spectrum stepped out of Math
And into the reality of Neurotypicals
If our tribe would find
A benign but blind group
Who never roll their disdainful eyes
But do try
To accept
Our contact
How would that be…?

THREE

Then I sigh
Remembering Albrecht Durer’s
Melencolia I
His woodcut always stuck with me
Because could swear he used my mother’s face
As model for his sad winged woman
(My artist crush never displaced)
And I look at the Magic Square on the wall
Adding up to thirty-four
Yang Hui’s centuries before
And the hopelessness
Of fitting the wrong number
Into a perfect Magic Square
And know we’ll never really fit into
The Society we crave
The friends whose
Open or secret condescension
Surfaces when we try to behave
Exactly like them…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: 1514 A. Durer’s Melencolia I / Magic Square / Mission Galactic Freedom

 

albrecht-durer.jpg!Portrait

SEASONAL CONVERGENCE

Picking my way through the swamp
Stomping in useless suede cloth boots
Sand spurs sticking to tights
Shouting to warn unbrumating snakes
All for the picture
And the metaphor
Of seeing the palm tree
Juxtaposed with the Queen Anne’s Lace
But by the time I hike into the
Out of control greens and browns
Hang up my guitar for the arty effect
The photo just isn’t there
At least not by phone camera
That I swear has no zoom-in
The sun hovers between East and South
Washing out the white flowers
If I move forward
The deep swamp will suck me down
It’s not really evil
Just has a sense of humor
And I seem to be the only one fascinated
With its loveliness
So I make it two photos
But the poem in my mind
Is gone
The metaphor was
The convergence of seasons
Palm tree
That never lost its greenery
Because of the warm winter
Queen Anne’s Lace
So Philly and Jersey summer
From my youth
The only flowers
Besides the Sunflower
That I’d occasionally see
In the concrete city
North meets South
Spring meets Summer
No, better go
Before the Water Moccasins
Slither over
And in May
The gators walk all day
Looking to mate
Bad enough a Blue Jay
Almost crashed into me
On my elliptical
This morning, outside
Pedaling to
Of all tunes
“Florida”

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGES: My guitar on the swamp palm tree and quasi-invisible Queen Anne’s Lace

 

Queen Anne's Lace in May with arrow

REPERCUSSIONS (Cezanne, Gauguin, Monet, and Van Gogh)

 

Mont Sainte-Victoire breakfast

Strangely snow blinded

Yet able to welcome

Swift arrows of sun

Bowing to the dawn

Espresso early song

Sharpening the appetite

World ceiling almost-bright

 

Tahitian naps under

Sun-sheltered trees

Salt-soddened

Hair and skin

From wild tides

Somnolent sighs

Tasting coconut milk

On sleeping lips

 

Tokyo teas

Jasmine tips the tongue

Cherry Blossom petals

Beneath sandaled feet

Delicate treats

Wooden shelter

By a bridge to nowhere

Into a dreamland of peace

 

Camargue nights

Savoring incarnadine wine

Big Dipper

Capturing hearts

Over a starry Rhone

Following us

As we float home

To rewind the day…

 

(c) 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

gauguin tahiti

 

the-japanese-bridge-claude-monet

 

Starry_Night_Over_the_Rhone

IMPERMANENCE 2

I follow this wonderful WordPress blog that visually records some of the finest street art ever seen.  I noticed a section titled “RIP” and was sad to see that so many of these wonderful paintings are destroyed.  Please see and like Resa’s blog at https://graffitiluxandmurals.com/r-i-p/comment-page-1/#comment-15254

 

Adapted from my poem “IMPERMANENCE” published in Parallel Universe Café and Other Poems 2015

 

We are all merely a Buddhist sand painting

A created, colorful mandala

Years in the making

Seconds in the melding

Of individual grains

With the earth, water, wind and fire

Anicca

Existence is

Transient

Evanescent

Inconstant

I understand the analogy

Just cannot accept it…

 

© 2015 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja) Parallel Universe Café and Other Poems

IMAGE: Even Teenage Vampires Cry (artists unknown)

R.I.P.

 

 

THREE-IN-ONE

You ask the identity of my fantasy man

Hardly hesitating, I reply:

I am his canvas of fecund fields

Pierced by passionate suns

Van Gogh impressions of yellow and green

I am his guitar strings

Played by his tongue

Set on fire and worshiped

As only Hendrix’s music could careen

Along scales never before heard or seen

I am his epic poem of alliterative lines

That old Pagan Beowulf poet

Writer, reciter, loving me

Anonymously

These three

As one

Someday you will come…

woodstock_2-hendrix-playing-with-tongue

© 2017 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

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