“After Studying Matisse’s Pianist and Checker Players at Midnight” by Lou Green

Lou Green


A distinct hum emerges from the line drawn, from
the simple gesture of paint. Here, for example, where
Matisse once laid the woman’s fingertip on an ivory key,

and the resonant shadow on the table shed by a bowl
full of pears. It is the same for Picasso’s line drawing
of Apollinaire, his friend’s forearm to drape affectionately

over a chair in the afternoon. Through the night
the hum to press itself against sleep. Peeling, slicing
a kiwi wafer-thin the next morning you experience

a brightness, innocent and in wedges, at the fruit’s
center, the compelling darkness of the seeds that push
forward into the green. Then a slight tightening in the chest,

a dizziness, when all along you thought you were
handling the news that arrived five days before, news
of the death of a long-time friend. A friend your own age

from the home place. That kind of news to register
in the body as well as the soul, so that you walk out
to the studio, draw more lines to leap and connect.

from Rattle #16, Winter 2001
Tribute to Boomer Girls


Lou Green: “The Human condition is such that art is as essential to it as bread is. Beauty—whether in the form of language, sculpture, image, or musical composition, begins in the read world made of lovers, clay roads, and skyscrapers. Through these artful forms the thrill of discovery expands the scale of time and space. I read, observe, and write, and in the process understand that life, with all its up and downs, is eternally discursive.”

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