Spring Skin, acyrlic on canvas, 2016, 44" x 48"

Wild Mouth.jpg

Wild Mouth, acrylic on canvas, 2016, 24" x 24"

The Wild Mouth paintings include language from an original poem called FALL, written from experiences that I witnessed in various parts of Philadelphia in 2015-16. In the paintings, the letters of words from the poem are spaced apart and intersect, stretching meaning and creating new associations and new words within them. The letters operate as both symbols and abstract compositional elements. 

FALL

puffed cheeks

a wide wild mouth

a face in exerted effort and uncertainty

to pull the trigger

 

I felt the spark I felt the burn in my ears

I felt the air slap like cheap plastic

the victim

struck in the left ass cheek

(running away)

was taken to the Children’s Hospital

I saw the children’s faces

running in fear, not surprise

the gun revealed like the truth

stunning final

all eyes know it

but it was over and ordinary again after

before the gunpowder could clear the air


 

treat it like your own sugar

not lost to the years

not an empty cup

not changing little by little through laughter

not changed by the clatter of birds in morning


 

but here, in your own bed

still with plum color and sweetness

within reach of gentle touch

in the night golden with street lights

ease into it. be there easy. remain



 

then feel the shape of it taken

the taste of the apple on your tongue

the bitter seeds in the center

lost in the beginning





 

now

on one street

an old woman is on a stoop

frothing rocking

bitten

spitting venom

accustomed

like she’s been cursing herself

hoarse for harsh years

angry until finally empty

I don’t care if they fuck

me in the fucking ass

you bitch

knowing

old hate made new

 

and a sad young man looking down and

through us with dark eyes

making direct dark eye contact, says

I know they all think I make no sense

I know

 

some part of us

 

is beautiful first

 

like the first beautiful

thing

 

standing

 

staring into the face

of the sun


 

our apple smile

cool knowing now

our apple eyes

hurt wandering

want

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