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Transcript of 20 paintings
20 Paintings Kristian Weise
The Red Ceilings PressMMX [rcp 10]
20 Paintings Kristian Wiese
Self Portrait 1
Draped in black velvet. Chalk colored skin. The only evidence of life shines
from his eyes and mouth. Chestnut curly hair, mine is falling off. Lucky for me.
How old are you? What is age? What is old? A skinny hand with long fingers.
His artists hand rests on his artists arm, quiet, silent. An alligator before it
jumps. One adores, the other becomes adored, lost somewhere in the middle
to think of you with no prospects to go home. Every morning hes born, and
when the day is up he dies helpless, as flowers are helpless and I always avoid
cameras, they say a photo can trap your soul. What about paintings, do they
have the same effect?
Today I got up, knocked my toe against the last step. A silent curse went back
inside, cut off backwards. Lit a cigarette and made coffee. The smell of coffee
in the morning smells better than Napalm. Sunrise opened up the pavement
and opened up the coffee shop in front of my building and opened up the post
office and the engines and the tubes. Woke everything up from the dead and
this is stronger than alcohol and more fun than song. Every night I die and
every morning Im reborn, and every day I think of you and I think that Im glad
I dont have to be somewhere right now. It would be impossible right now,
because of this red swollen big toe.
1 1620-1621. Oil on canvas. The Hermitage, St. Pettersburg, Russia
Portrait of Elena Grimaldi of Genoa 2
Her proud face underneath a red umbrella matches with her sleeves. A flower
in her hand, a slave at her back. Her belly grows her mind dies. Its not even
noon and Im drunk. Is the clouded background a symbol of life, of death,
of happiness? All together its something that Im only seeing. A fragment, a
skull, a white-knuckle hand grasping at the doorknob, the moon reflects the
doorknob. The moon makes life. No one else seems to notice the little boy
in the orange jump suit. His face contrasts with hers. His knuckles clenched
around the wooden shaft grasping the umbrella.
The moon makes everything still. Silence, the eyes, the dusk, the town, can tell
you about dreams you never had. Wires coming out of the ears of the rust red
Double Decker pounding an abandoned road past abandoned houses. Left over
lives and left over dresses. Is it life on the moon? Do they have poetry there?
The saddest thing I know is all the books Ill never read and all the places Ill
never visit. How short is a life? I never asked to be born, but again, Ill never ask
to die. Its a hoax anyway, a damn good one. Is poetry real? The poem is
not a dream, Well Ted what is? Can you tell me what it is, 4:39 a.m. I ask but
you never answer. Its a bad circle. The phone always rings, but I never answer.
Afraid to hear voices and discover whats underneath.
2 1623. Oil on canvas. The National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, USA
Portrait of Marie-Louise of Tassis 3
Venus Beauty two centuries after Venus, to public display after Venus. Short
black curly hair. Venus. Her hand grasps a feather quill the neck & chest
display her wealth. All I can do is sit back and enjoy and dream and fall back
and hope that my head doesnt touch the floor. Storm coloured blue, quiet
before the storm. Cheeks with red roses cheeks too fragile to touch, the vision
of Madonna above cigar butts and over my portal the picture of you and she
makes me young. I cant help myself any more. Stretch out and feel that dress.
Lace & satin. Within two seconds lime like light lights my skull and explodes.
The grey background becomes more narcissistic, more vivid, violent, not meant
to be grasped by anyone, not even You. And that collar can make the most
hard-headed man bleed from his hands and all assonance is drained from the
motionless frame. The lingering wasteland of solid rock hard cement on a sky
of meditations, levitations in free verse and Haikus out of control. The walls
carry traces of abuse tonight. High heel marks, lipstick and mustard stains and
Im unable to sleep or walk in sleep half silence and with reason.
3 1630. Oil on canvas. Grand Ducal Collection, Vaduz, Liechtenstein
Henrietta Maria and the dwarf, Sir Jeffrey Hudson 4
The Queens Dwarf, a monkey on his shoulder a monkey for the Queen. The
with the surroundings, the queen in blue the rest is red. Is her blood blue too?
My veins are open and my eyes muddy. Yesterday I dreamed about a flying
monkey and Africa and Rhinos roaming the jungle. The smell of meat and dust
and mud, red roads drenched in blood a river of blood from here to Timbuktu.
Tonights heat will dry that dream and it will fall into dust.
Open veins of yesterday. Hung over bed sheets and ash everywhere. All the
dishes are still in the sink, been standing there for four long days now. Cant
see the point of complain. Were too dull to understand. Im
not a monkey, I dont have a monkey on my back, I wouldnt mind a kiss from
a monkey though, if I was a monkey myself. G8 are doing all they can. Glazed
politicians, who strive to make my present tastier, but, why then? I read the
news today, today and yesterday. Still no news from the poets in Ghana. Still no
news from them.
4 1633. Oil on canvas. The National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, USA
Children of Charles 1 5
Autumn is fun for these kids dressed as small adults they contrast small
children. The boy to the left the future king to the left. Who went to France
in exile, who later was brought back, who promoted theatre and poetry, who
gambled on the wrong poet and received satire after satire from the drunk
poet. But this is all in the past and we cross out February 25th 2010 and its
8:39 a.m. and I think its going to rain today. I got no other plans today than
to stay at my desk with my books and papers and pictures and you. And living
is easy these days at least for now, even though I got a pain in my head from
wearing my hair too long and I think about the poets in the world both alive
and dead and hope theyre happy on a day like this with art poetry and coffee
anything can happen and nothing will.
France, Paris, 18:49, May, not in exile, only sweating. A little drunk, been
walking Boulevard St Germain all day. Drank the most expensive beer at caf
Lipp. Ate croque moisure, walked along the Seine. Kept you with me all the
time through the narrow streets past benches filled with lovers. Stood for one
hour looking at Notre Dame. I think youre my Dame. Had dinner with a stray
dog before I went home and fainted on my bed. And this is not a dream. It
cant be. I feel too awake and I think song is better. All I cross out is muffled
footsteps & muffled minds.
5 1635. Oil on canvas. Windsor Castle, Royal Collection, UK
Portrait of Charles I 6
Three Times Charles 1st. Blue, Red, Lilac. White silk collars. The royal Pearl
dangles from his ear. The royal star shines on his shoulder. Three times Charles
1st nose. Crooked flesh, outstretched with a bump. A royal deformation
displayed three times in a dimly lit room where sounds of chatter dies away
and nothing is left and where are you now? Lost somewhere in the smallest
cracks behind the dumpsters and its all over before it began.
When I asked about the painter, a Saturday in February, somewhere between
four and five, the short curly haired woman behind the desk looked up and
said no, its not here. Nothing is here. Only a landscape portrait and its
not on display. To my surprise I found it. In British paintings not far from
Michelangelos drawings, up the staircase, the royal star and his royal ear
piece. And its already to late and instead we got lost in the section of patterns
and later found our way down where all the replicas stand, lying to the tourists.
They dont fool us. I know whats behind. What if it falls, you asked, where
would you run? Nowhere, theyre fake. Ill just catch them and force them back.
Nothing heres what it seems, a museum of phonies and forgeries. Even the
school of Athens knows it aint real.
6 1636. Oil on canvas. Windsor Castle, Royal Collection, UK
Portrait of James Stewart, Duke of Lennox and Richmond 7
Its 15.40, London, England. James Stuart the older carries the kings star on
his left shoulder, no sleep for days, time goes by too quickly. His black robe
awakes the darkness in his eyes, pulls it out makes it visible. His right hand
rests on the elegant animal by his side. Everything Ive read so far is not what
it seems, hyped up, kitsch, ultraviolent, not realistic and too big to swallow.
What about the stuff I see? On his feet grows black roses, one on each foot.
Why so pensive James? The clock keeps ticking & you dont age at all. Did they
dispose of you in the fields of Oxford? The ants are gone asleep by now out on
those plains. The stain on the carpet is still here even though Ive tried to wash
it off it sticks to my feet and my mind and sometimes to you and my head is
too small and my thoughts too big.