Wednesday, December 15, 2010

dead man and his shoe painting

when the dead man wants to dabble in painting, he arranges his brushes
he brushes away the dirt from those shoes, applies a base coat, leaves them to dry
the dead man takes out a charcoal, that piece he pilfered from a pyre,
he sketches on the shoes, a design so chaotic, but orderly for him
on a palette, the dead man mixes paints, and first fills the cracks
(but why paint on a shoe, he utters loudly, he has misgivings too)
the dead man knows, shoes denote freedom, that journey which goes on and on
one shoe can fall apart,  other one might last longer, as did his twin
thinking of his zygoted part, dead man becomes sad and melancholic
but his brush never stops, it goes over corners, makes lines, curves and dots
the dead man's lean brush tells a story on the uppers of shoes
he makes it as easy for us, as complicated as it was for him

"our dead man knows his story needs to be told but where has he gone?"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thanks to Big Tent Poetry, I got to know about Marvin Bell and his Dead Man Poetry. For more Dead Man poems by Marvin Bell, do check out the Poetry.org site.

39 comments:

Naquillity said...

this is an excellent piece of writing. loved the story you wove. hope all is well. have a great day.

jaerose said...

I loved the layers and layers of words building up the complex picture - it seemed different to your previous pieces and was very skilfully done..Jae

Ramesh Sood said...

This is indeed woven well.. unique as usual..

Tony Noland said...

The charcoal taken from a funeral pyre is a fantastic image.

pia said...

"so chaotic but orderly for him" really resonated with me. As usual it's wonderfully complex and beautiful

ThomG said...

This is so wonderfully penned. You captured so much in this.

Kim Nelson said...

"...he makes it as easy for us, as complicated as it was for him..." Perfect way to end this piece. The dead often find a way to do this for us, don't they?
Lovely.

Gemma @ Greyscale said...

A deliciously disturbing narrative where dried paint somehow still breathes some life!

Deborah said...

Compellingly written with wonderful imagery, really well done.

Angel said...

Very compelling. Nice work.

sharplittlepencil said...

Magical, the vision of dead man writing. And on his own shoes, with coal from his own pyre. I say anything more than everyone else - this is incredible. One of your best!

And that's saying something!

Amy BL

Rinkly Rimes said...

An air of mystery that is often hard to achieve.

Pblacksaw said...

I loved it.. and I actually saw paintings on old shoes.. well boots at a shop in Madrid, New Mexico.. Those old boots were selling for quiet a bit.. Have a wonderful day~
Patsy

Brian Miller said...

wow. this is extremely well written...very nice...

lalita choudhary said...

well portrayed!! Really Well Done! :)

vivinfrance said...

That's following enjambment to the nth degree! A great free-flowing thought process.

mark said...

I am whopper-jawed by this. Truly stunned by it.

hedgewitch said...

You did a much better job with this dead man thing than i did--I just couldn't take it seriously. Very well done poem, whether you know about the dead man premise or not.

Julie Jordan Scott said...

I love painting on shoes. ^Giggles^ such vivid pictures painted with your words and with "his words" and brushes.

Thank you.

My Dead Woman Poem

Nanka said...

Very well expressed!!

flaubert said...

Gautami you have done it again.
Perfect dead man poem.
Pamela

Monkey Man said...

Quite an excellent story. Very creative.

Linda said...

I like poems that make me think—and the emotional quality of this poem does just that. Beautifully written.

Elizabeth said...

Gautami, I like several things about this one. The imagery, is fantastic and I love the thin brush the dead man uses. I like that you stepped outside the form itself and still managed it well. This is an artistic piece, written by an artist of some report.

Elizabeth

brenda w said...

Gautami, I want to see the finished shoes. Your words evoke gorgeous images. I love pondering the dead man's twin, and the idea that "shoes denote freedom."

Tumblewords: said...

Almost mystical. I love that 'he' desires to make his complications easier for us. And it is easy to wonder where he has gone. Nicely done!

liv2write2day said...

Wonderful writing using the Dead Man form. I'm slowly working up the courage to try this form myself. Thanks, Gautami

Barbara said...

ah, nice variation on the form. I love the final line.

Is there a term for those capstone lines you use to finish off your poems?

Cynthia Short said...

You always manage to amaze me with your very imaginative takes on the prompts...a dead man painting shoes? Fabulous!

caroleesherwood said...

glad you enjoyed learning about the form. i did, too!

Tea said...

Your writing is very moving. For that reason alone you are very talented.

Wayne Pitchko said...

sooo good Gautami....i can relate to this vey much.....thanks for sharing your wonderful words again....take care

Joseph Harker said...

Everyone's said this already, but the idea of painting with shoes is perfectly charming! Love it.

djvorreyer said...

I love the line about the charcoal pilfered from a funeral pyre. Very creative.

Deb said...

The charcoal was my favorite, too. Love (esp) the strength of those first three lines.

nan said...

Great "dead man" poem (and I liked the other too . . .) Very interesting meditation on shoes -- denoting freedom, journey, the shoe can fall apart, one might last longer . . .

Reminds me of the phrase, waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Well done, as your work always is!

Tilly Bud said...

I like how the dead man's brush tells a story on his shoes.

James said...

Well done. I like the attention to detail (yours in the telling of the dead man's work, that is).

The Accidental Novelist said...

Gautami! Thank you for reminding me of Marvin Bell! I haven't picked up any of his books in years and I've forgotten how much I enjoyed his work.

The Dead Man Poems are like a buried treasure I had forgotten about.

Marvin Bell's section in The Poet's Notebook (LOVE THIS BOOK), inspired me to create an exercise around it that I haven't used in several years. And now you've inspired me to use it as my weekend workout.