scarecrow poetics/essays

Sunday, March 11, 2007


Dancing in the Louvre—Summer, 1999

For Katie Farrar

I’d heard it called the Disneyland of art museums
and when I saw its slick ticket windows
and long lines I understood why

but inside the art refuse to be regulated,
codified, or sold:

it jumped off the walls and danced,
sang, screamed, laughed arias,
spewed witticisms,
and hurt like
cold mornings
with no hope
of her ever

And I danced too in my thoughtful
standing still and slow moving from
one painting to the next
as Vermeer egged me on
by saying shit like ride me to
van Gogh like a magic carpet
on your way to Jackson Pollock’s
Long Island barn
early 1950s breathru

or maybe you should shift gears
slightly to Munch leading to Klee
or anywhere else modern, post,
or not you want to go

Or perhaps you should just say
fuck it all
and head down to
the Italian Renaissance
and weep before the
fields of sunlight and
God having meaning
in Leonardo’s backdrop
or so many other greats
my overwhelmed mind
suddenly can’t name
by name

which is what
I then proceeded
to do,

tears coming to my eyes
before I even reached
the stairs

Robert Woodard © 2007.

ROB WOODARD was born in Anaheim, California in 1964 and raised mostly in the nearby Long Beach area. After graduating high school, he dropped in and out of various community colleges and worked mostly in restaurants in southern California, Hawaii, and Australia, while taking breaks to wander aimlessly across big swaths of the globe. During these years he wrote consistently in search of his voice as a writer. Frustrated by his lack of progress, he returned to school and eventually obtained bachelors and masters degrees in anthropology from California State University, Long Beach. After a brief stint as a college professor, he returned to working in restaurants and writing. Burning Shore Press recently published Heaping Stones, his first novel. What Love Is, his second novel, is scheduled to be released by the same house in the summer/early fall of 2006. He is currently writing poetry, book reviews, and a journal.



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