Treasure Island

Lamont Palmer

(July 12th,1962 / Maryland)

An Artist Paints A Bowl Of Fruit

Muted color translates into quiet sound,
or the roundness of planets and moons
that dwell here, around us, in obvious places.
The room is demure, the walls are settled,
memory opens to be placed and used.
Everything is here - the imagistic city,
the desire to be in it and changed
by it or improved by its distances.
A bowl and its contents can be easily seen,
while an easel is the flat camera of daubed worlds.
Brush in hand, he recalls the idea of scenes:
he never leaves the changed vision behind.

Sitting, like a prolonged reaction to summer,
fresh fruit possesses a hue, a human hue -
if one partakes of that, in his mind, too, it's good.
This is fruit for the taking, the bright possession;
the repetition of shapes and the best
of them, a silent impression of their story,
the plot, wholly beginning at the palette,
ending at the burnt umber of days.
Ocher of the moment is arresting ocher,
yet it was never alive, it was always wax,
a small, delicate museum, turned in on itself.

The artist knows stillness is beautiful.
Then stillness brings a fullness, a lush swelling of cells.
It is like a harmonica, an even note.
He likens it to a glimmer, freshly blown glass.
He sees the 'truth' of art, a dazzling artifice;
he sees the depth of original, twilight skies.
He knows that what is real is buffered by its form -
no form? no fruit, no color, no signals of the soul.
There would only be a wide mist: nothing to follow,
raw, stripped: Calcutta of blank paper, of nakedness,
so repeatedly, color returns: Pavlovian reflection and taste.

Coolness can surge, not just as a form of heat.
This is cool and picturesque, beyond an ease of things.
He is calmer than a lonely kitchen table
in the late time of the long, hot season,
where, within his cocoon comes inspiration,
not quite as epiphany bursting through
afternoon fog, or night fog, or a basic
fog, thickening in its insistence to obscure:
all the places he tends to sit before
the act and the actuality of art.
He loves the fruit and will comment on its sweetness,
believing its model to be the last comment.
He, too, stays still; a still life painting another;
all are now caged: line, man, and background.

Submitted: Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Edited: Saturday, October 26, 2013

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Comments about this poem (An Artist Paints A Bowl Of Fruit by Lamont Palmer )

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  • William F Dougherty (4/27/2012 5:48:00 PM)

    This still-life subject is not a still-life poem but an exploration of creative processing, a negotiation between
    perception and apperception, a transmuting of object by subject-a creative meditation, rewardingly controlled. (Report) Reply

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