Still Life with Romance (Natura Morta)
For my sister Robin Glynn (1962-2006)
My world, if full – is full of sunlight and bees.
We both know that Courbet was a communard;
without looking down.
I hear the water in his painting singing below.
A plover calls.
The soft scent of not wisteria,
The Pollack swirls of dried grass,
Make no shape, no pattern.
Acquacheta / still water
Fat unthinking bees hover.
My sister says it must be a sweet life if I’m pissing on rose petals.
There is that air about it:
Begun at 38 instead of 21 when one is meant to have the grand adventure;
At 21 when it is impossible to imagine how sharp pain will taste when you let it age.
And so it begins:
I was in love with a sculptor, born in Louisiana, who now lived
near the Adriatic coast. I came to live in the hills outside Florence
looking to find the shape of my soul and to unwind the threads of
How much of that is real and how much a hollow in the light?
Sitting on a bench in front of a small cabin that
I share with a bulb on a wire, a suitcase and a family of rats;
Drinking grappa, smoking Gauloises,
Watching the sun set over the Tuscan hills.
This is real
No more and no less real than
Driving from DeSoto to Irving, Texas.
Having de-composed my ordered, still life.
Cutting down through weak and inconsistent flesh,
To find the white, persistent honesty of bone.