for Sandro Zendralli

Chill early morning autumn 2013 looking out from a window
onto the small courtyard
Hotel tout confort Lugano

petit déjeuner
petit déjeuner

The clouds are moving eastward
"a series of pictures one upon another"
to the indifference of a clear fleur de lis blue sky
halfway into Switzerland where they stop to rest
jumbo cottonballs among the Alps

Then to follow after Hannibal and Bonaparte down onto the plains of Lombardy
where foreign clouds wed native fog

Across from the window
latticework crosshatching ivy green and crinolated
to let the gaze go
beyond adjacent wrought-iron balcony balustrades arabesque kittycorner to the coiled garden hose

emblem of painters and of poets
fluctuat nec mergitur
then back to the ivy overlaying shadowed latticework
in simultaneous visual cognition

inevitable geranium on window ledge

The arcana of the painting
explained at last
like a string of beads lapis-lazuli
while hands demonstrate cubistic signals


An elevator shaft meets up with a ventilator duct

What poets learn from painters is an open question


"Cavalry Crossing a Ford" a small canvas painted by Walt Whitman

Mallarmé chez Manet and the blue-grey skein of smoke still meanders from his cigar
the Metro the "allarme" is missing an M

Ezra Pound at El Prado
to memorize eyes

Robert Creeley nightwatch with Franz Kline
at Black Mountain College

The clouds are moving east
over the broken geometry of the lakeside town
the clouds from Spleen of Paris

Then look down:

On the skylight's irregular reflection
the clouds are moving in the opposite direction

Over the rectangular patch of glass
reminiscent of a painting by Zendralli


the clouds are moving
like open hands

below the smudged charcoal
the ivy and the latticework
grid of windows and elevator shaft

The vertical oval porthole
of the third floor latrine
the arabesques of balcony
and the coiled garden hose

pendulum of cuckoo-clock and corridor
of mirrors and lithographs
cubistic handsignals at face-level

Loin des oiseaux, des troupeaux, des villageoises


c/o Semiramis

What poets learn from painters
Igor Stravinsky en bicyclette
Tzara Picabia Giacometti Arp
Herman Hesse above Lugano

What painters know
and what poets if they're lucky
come to learn

ut pictura poesis

The painter at Lascaux chatting
with magicians and musicians

"Language invented..." Willem De Kooning saying "in order to
sit around all day talking about art"

and there are worse ways for mankind to spend their hours and their years

"La rue Saint Jacques..." (Pierre Soulages) "...when they dug it up
was found to be full of tusks
of the mastodons who once lived
on Mont Sainte Geneviève..."

The rue Saint Jacques first trampled down by thirsty mastodons
then by painters and their poet friends
coming down to drink in the evening

A rain of hands washed across the canvas

Renoir's willows
at the sacred helicoptered waters
of lakes

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