De Kooning, a Retrospective

seated man, clown, a stitch in your neck
saves time
    teeth platter, palette seat, italics
creamy breast             
light-hearted evil eye—http://kahovka-service.ru

‘a major at forty’
    ART BEGINS AT FORTY.
        Only ego to take you
     to the front of the line
    ahead of time
        where you begin born.
              FORTY.

Colour in the late thirties
    approaching
colour in the mid-forties      he is born at the turn
            of the 20th century
            meaning all decades
                 correspond

PINK ANGELS        make themselves
pink angels        their own rhythm
pink angels        making love
pink angels        in a fight

   a taut rubberised fight
a plinth plight hammerhead emergency
       pinching muscle, pinch
         my eyes

separate solemn bite    opine eyes
   eyes spine
    in the absence of light.

ALL PAINT IS AN ABSENCE OF LIGHT
    just think, just think,
          is inverted sight

Jack of all
   primary goof Woman 1942
PINK LADY IS ORANGE!

    I can’t fathom those
          who fret over the Women of the 50s
they are not housewives and not
    anatomised
        atomising
a woman in the 50s
      is an act of love
   sun sets on her
      seated, arm is a
            shoulder of
    tentative lamb

The figures of the mid-forties
    having little to say
    to the figures of the late thirties

how does colour feel
   colours feel
     induce feeling
   shout out ME!  ME!

        how a colour
          is a boundary
      not merely a line when it isn’t a line
   untitled to be nothing untrue
       in 1945
   a panelist of the future

I can’t talk about 48-49
    nothing asks why
 some tawny fox flesh hides
        irrevocable black, irrevocable white

enlightenment cartoon stoop
TRIBAL GRAFFITI STOOP!
      the chair interrupts

teeth in sky, engines, rockets
      heroic, comic fire
      crucifix borders sitting bones sky

        ‘sort of sexist’ says the mom
               ‘that’s gross’ says the daughter

Clumpy vulval pocket pants
How many times
    to be women or woman and
      woman and man and
        man woman

pause for thoughts
       break for shadow
          tilt for lemon
    rescue tenderly spite

LATE FORTIES WOMEN
    I CAN’T EVEN GO THERE
    IT’S TOO TOO EXCITING
         TRIBAL VANITY FLIGHT
   TURBID SPLIT THIGH
        TOE TO HIPBONE THEY FLY
           IN A SUSPENDED CLOUD OF RAPTURE
    THAT SWINGS ABSENT SKY

       then you star in her eye
      then you star in exuberant eye
       in Woman, 1948

  OH I’M MELTING!

    black milk spurt destroyed
across every straight line

I like to think of woman, 1949-
  50 as how anyone feels after
spending all they have in the lines
  that make body arise
      through impossible trials into
tip of the arc before melting and
    letting go
and how I’ve lain in bed destroyed
         nothing curved but my breasts
the rest of my lavender exploded from inside
 and I’m lying there, black green and white
       and I’m lying there, cream in my
eyes
       and a crest of red
    bites at the head of the board
spitted fuchsia on lavender thighs

The Yorick, the ladder, the door of abstraction
  in 1949
-50, the clown pajamas
        muscular llama face, mirror
    a drawing pin
       soapy light
   blue sky inside

Tell me—
        what happens to colour in the
          mid 1950s?
Colour is now the apprentice of noise—

The thing that most strikes me
     about 1963 is how
    suddenly light is present inside
and that paint suddenly
        knows how to be light
and even before knowing it’s supposed to be Dawn at Louse Point
   the sense is immediate light

Women of the mid-sixties
      are trying to keep it together
    in a gory enamel melt that is like cheese
    like preening orange cheese
          it is an utterly compelling bad moment
                a recklessness not to be trifled with.

By the time you have painted
    the superhero comics awesomeness
             of Untitled XII,
    I am alive
            and you’re heralding
            the future

the primary colours of dementia
    the white space clearly missing things
clearly so much more than white, memory wiped

      one last gush of pink in 1981
          made to party with blue and yellow besides

and then primaries, white,
        and the flag

by the time titles have disappeared, in 1984
       you still remember flesh