Thursday, November 27, 2014

Joan McNerney's Poems about Monk, Picasso, Van Gogh, and the Buddha

Although I hope that you will want to learn more about the new contest in memory of Michael Brown (, let's return to our fall contest with Joan McNerney's poem honoring Monk.

Holy man of keys
sacred of emery and ivory.
Holy man of improv
swinging through space
Holy man of smooth
sliding over blue heartbeats.
Holy man of scync
sending us to beyond

In addition, Joan sent me some of her poems on art (two very famous paintings and one sculpture of the Buddha), so I thought you'd like to see them.

Pablo Picasso

Night Fishing at Antibes (1939)

What sort of night is this?
Demons are loose.  How
diabolically the sun shines
on this green ocean.

Is all the world upside down?
Fish fly in mountains while
respectable ladies bicycle
on rooftops.

Look!  A fisherman has struck
his spear into a whale, what
a nice warlock's stew!

Joan McNerney

Vincent Van Gogh

Starry Night (1889)

Circular wind wrapped
with sky and skull
Bulging fists of stars
blaze frantically.
Hurricane of the mind
split moon.

Cypress tree swirls through
liquid hills rapid sky.
Motionless lies the
faint town in hesitant

Joan McNerney

On Viewing Buddha in the Museum

Ommmm, cool Buddha
how  relaxing you are!
Your legs in lotus position
as you sit on jewel of flower.
Your right hand telling me
"be not afraid".
Your left giving me the universe,
sly fox!
I will spend this short hour with you.
Ah, you seem to wink at me.
I will then tickle your cozy toes,
tease you out of Nirvana.
Ommmm, holy, wise one.

Joan McNerney

Now that we've enjoyed these words and images, let's also listen to a few more songs by Thelonious Monk.  

Here is his "Brilliant Corners," which fits our artistic theme:

This version of "Evidence" is from Japan in 1963:

"Epistrophy" is from that same performance:

We'll finish with his "Blue Bolivar Blues (Take 2)" from Monk's Dream (1963):

Enjoy the poems from the fall contests, but be sure to take note of our new contest:

I will be interspersing some of the new poems with the old, especially once the semester is over and I have more time.

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