Monday, November 14, 2011

Poems For Jamie Wyeth, Part Two

Portrait of Thomas Jefferson

what i remember
is the clock
over the doors
mechanized by a series of weights
strung on wire cables
descending into beautiful round holes
cut into the foyer floors
and the revolving door
that led into the dining room
slaves on one side
placing silver trays of food
and spinning the door
so state secrets
stayed on the table 
like bread crumbs
and most of all,
his bed
it was lilliputian
and built into the wall 
of his chambers
he slept like a book
upon a shelf
i could imagine him curled
in velvet and lambs wool
reading by the sparks of a fire
until a slave woman
doused the lamp


Portrait of Andy Warhol

who was the pale man?
which one?
the one i sat next to,
he looked like a vampire . . . 
that was Andy Warhol's boyfriend
but how?
did you like your hamburger?
yes, but how?
Peter owns many of his paintings
yes, Marilyn is in the living room
or is that Liz Taylor?
there's a little soup can in the bathroom
but how?
what?
I don't think he liked me
who?
Mr. Warhol's boyfriend
he doesn't like anyone
not even Andy


Portrait of a Lady

i follow my sisters
foolishly up these hills
they speak of chestnuts
but all i've found 
is old barbed wire
and the bones of a dog
a bell rings
in the valley
he's gone to church
where he'll strike a deal
for winter hay
all for sweaters
his wife makes of us
on the loom 
near the chimney

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