David Starkey


You, Yves Klein, hover there
in the afterlife, fiery halo,
singing in French.
Wet sponge, you soak up
the monochrome radiance
of God, pluck the monotone
Symphony from your plastic
harp. In your heaven,
angels have breasts
and pubic hair. You smear
their naked bodies with blue,
call them "living brushes,"
command, "Slide here! Press
harder!" You admit, though,
running an ivory comb
through thinning hair,
"I would never do it myself."
Ironic pre-post-modernist,
you know the artist
can never fully be his art.
In black tie or evening gown,
the other painters puff heavily
on cigarettes, while all across
Paris you preach flight,
remove corners from the rooms
that hold your relics, whisper,
"Don't ever say, I love you."

David Starkey teaches in the writing program at UC-Santa Barbara, and is the author of the textbook "Poetry Writing: Theme and Variations" (NTC, 1999), as well as several books of poems from small presses, most recently "Fear of Everything," winner of Palanquin Press' Spring 2000 chapbook contest. He has published more than 250 poems in literary magazines over the past 13 years, including work in recent or forthcoming issues of GSU Review, Open City, Paumanok Review, The Pedestal, Rattle, Red Rock Review, and Stirring.


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