Poetry: Time and Materials by Robert Hass


Time and Materials
Gerhard Richter: Abstrakte Bilder 

                        1
To make layers,
As if they were a steadiness of days:

It snowed; I did errands at a desk;
A white flurry out the window thickening; my tongue
Tasted of the glue on envelopes.

On this day sunlight on red brick, bare trees,
Nothing stirring in the icy air.

On this day a blur of color moving at the gym
Where the heat from bodies
Meets the watery, cold surface of the glass.

Made love, made curry, talked on the phone
To friends, the one whose brother died
Was crying and thinking alternately,
Like someone falling down and getting up
And running and falling and getting up.

                        2
The object of this poem is not to annihila

To not annih

The object of this poem is to report a theft,
In progress, of everything
That is not these words
And their disposition on the page.

The object o   f this poem is to report a theft,
            In progre   ss of everything that exists
That is not th   ese words
            And their d   isposition on the page.

The object     of his poe is t     repor a theft
          In rogres f ever hing at xists
Th is no ese w rds
          And their disp sit on o the pag

                         3
To score, to scar, to smear, to streak,
To smudge, to blur, to gouge, to scrape.

“Action painting,” i.e.,
The painter gets to behave like time.

                         4
The typo would be “paining.”

(To abrade.)

                         5
Or to render time and stand outside
The horizontal rush of it, for a moment
To have the sensation of standing outside
The greenish rush of it.

                         6
Some vertical gesture then, the way that anger
Or desire can rip a life apart,

Some wound of color.

by Robert Hass
via Poetry International (Hear him read through the link)

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