Live a Guess

John Levy


 

 

 

 

 

              Two Paintings by Degas


 The Racehorse,  Amateur  Jockeys,  took  more than  13  years to  not complete.  Is that the opposite of racing?

  Early on, after  hed  started it,  he promised the singer  (for whom  hed agreed to paint it)  hed  have it done in 5 days.

 Nine years later the singer demanded it and Degas asked  him  to wait  a few  more days because it wasnt finished. Where, if anywhere, is the meaningless race against time?

 About  six  months  later  the singer told Degas to hand it over or get sued. Degas surrendered it. The painting:  several  horses,  four  jockeys,  two spectators in the foreground, a  line of spectators distant enough to be a solid band of varied color, a small puffing locomotive, and behind that  a  hill  with a road leading to houses, sky.

 Years later, apparently within a short time, Degas painted a riderless horse  and a fallen jockey. The horse turns  his head to  us  as  he  leaps  over the fallen man. No  race  anywhere  in sight. The landscape simple now: grass and sky. The grass sketchy in places. Done, it looks unfinished.
 

 

 

 

               

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Morandi

 

More

and

I.

 

And,

and,

and.

 

More con-

tainers

and me.

 

Line

containers

up

 

to make a

sentence

that is is-

 

o-

lated

in a

 

quiet

room

where more

 

is and I

am

ajar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rorschach

 

 

My life as a hut, a roar

shack, no

 

joke, all joke, ink

blot, ink botch, take a guess, live

 

a guess, look at this mess, an

ink

 

spill. My life an inked

shape on a page, a writer, an eraser, here

 

is my drafty shack, my hovel, I have

at it, tilt at it, go full tilt, half-tilt, full blot,

 

blottingly. And with this blotty paw

hand you this blotesque self

 

poured

onto, into, through a page.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Kater Murr's Press, Piraeus Series, 2003. 
Poems copyright John Levy, 2003.
Cover art by Leslie Buchanan;
copyright Leslie Buchanan, 2003.