blind sculpting the blind (20170131)

tonight i sculpted a back
not life-sized
–maybe three-quarter–
and somehow
i got it not quite right

the back was receding
as if just then turned away
and headed off to parts

insert remark about
having seen enough backs
in that position
engaged in that act
of abandonment
that i should have been
able to push that clay around

Poem 20150901

not so picky about the details
or where the clay flies
the artist
pulls with the fine metal loop
tears out a huge
iris-shaped blob of soft clay
from the eye creating
the illusion of depth
and drives the tapered tip
of a paintbrush in
to make the pupil

it’s like those busts
at the haunted mansion
that seem to follow you
concave depressions
made to look like stone
but with the afterimage
of life
as they track you

these sculpted eyes too
follow you as you walk around it
even though they gaze into a future
of fire in the kiln
and uncertain finishes

Poem 20150804

the clay is pretty quiet
when you work it

it doesn’t talk
the mouth only opens
if you’ve taken the time
to make a mouth

even then
one side is higher
not quite

there’s no tongue
no teeth behind the facade
of lips

if you work the loop
fast enough
you can hear the clay
as it smooths out
and falls in curls
onto the table

that’s a kind
of subtractive talking
all goodbyes
all goodbyes

Poem 20150711

the lump is solid and dead and wet
when you unsack it

you don’t even pull it out
just let it slide out on its own

gravity does the dirty work
you just guide with with your hands

watch it impale itself on a wooden stake
not that it has a heart

not yet

and you hear it separate from its skin
which you reserve

the peeling off of skin
the baring of red flesh not yet alive

after all, this is eden
you haven’t breathed life into it

not yet

as you take it apart
cutting with wire and knives and fingers

you save the pieces for later
keeping the bits in the old skin

keeping them wet because when they dry,
they are useless shards