after looking at Joan Mitchell paintings


The battle for the blank white page.
To start anew, Joan.
Pale-bright field of corn
shaded by grey to black paint.  Rage?

Minnesota summer wheat
outside New Ulm.
Bohemian hum
of Anton Gàg?  Felt like defeat

for everyone.  Hungry Dakotas,
heimlich Bavarians...
local George Washingtons
banked on cheap lots (take theirs).

Everybody trying to shill Big George
back in redcoat London.
Not to be outdone,
Tidewater gents – that’s our land, by George!

Learn some Narragansett, maybe.
Milton did – from Roger,
one hot frozen winter.
To love, not to betray, your neighbor?

Somebody tell me how to get from here
to there, America.
Too used to being honcho
number one?  Come to shore;

wash in water.  À bas.  Restore.
The level’s golden measure,
simple bubble of air...
sea’s middle C, beyond all war.


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