20 Paintings Kristian Weise
The Red Ceilings Press MMX [rcp 10] http://redceilings.blogspot.com
20 Paintings Kristian Wiese
Self Portrait 1 Draped in black velvet. Chalk colored skin. The only evidence of life shines from his eyes and mouth. Chestnut curly hair, mine is falling off. Lucky for me. How old are you? What is age? What is old? A skinny hand with long fingers. His artist’s hand rests on his artist’s arm, quiet, silent. An alligator before it jumps. One adores, the other becomes adored, lost somewhere in the middle to think of you with no prospects to go home. Every morning he’s born, and when the day is up he dies helpless, as flowers are helpless and I always avoid cameras, they say a photo can trap your soul. What about paintings, do they have the same effect?
Today I got up, knocked my toe against the last step. A silent curse went back inside, cut off backwards. Lit a cigarette and made coffee. The smell of coffee in the morning smells better than Napalm. Sunrise opened up the pavement and opened up the coffee shop in front of my building and opened up the post office and the engines and the tubes. Woke everything up from the dead and this is stronger than alcohol and more fun than song. Every night I die and every morning I’m reborn, and every day I think of you and I think that I’m glad I don’t have to be somewhere right now. It would be impossible right now, because of this red swollen big toe.
1620-1621. Oil on canvas. The Hermitage, St. Pettersburg, Russia
Portrait of Elena Grimaldi of Genoa 2 Her proud face underneath a red umbrella matches with her sleeves. A flower in her hand, a slave at her back. Her belly grows her mind dies. It’s not even noon and I’m drunk. Is the clouded background a symbol of life, of death, of happiness? All together it’s something that I’m only seeing. A fragment, a skull, a white-knuckle hand grasping at the doorknob, the moon reflects the doorknob. The moon makes life. No one else seems to notice the little boy in the orange jump suit. His face contrasts with hers. His knuckles clenched around the wooden shaft grasping the umbrella.
The moon makes everything still. Silence, the eyes, the dusk, the town, can tell you about dreams you never had. Wires coming out of the ears of the rust red Double Decker pounding an abandoned road past abandoned houses. Left over lives and left over dresses. Is it life on the moon? Do they have poetry there? The saddest thing I know is all the books I’ll never read and all the places I’ll never visit. How short is a life? I never asked to be born, but again, I’ll never ask to die. It’s a hoax anyway, a damn good one. Is poetry real? The poem is not a dream, Well Ted what is? Can you tell me what it is, 4:39 a.m. I ask but you never answer. It’s a bad circle. The phone always rings, but I never answer. Afraid to hear voices and discover what’s underneath.
1623. Oil on canvas. The National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, USA
Portrait of Marie-Louise of Tassis 3 Venus Beauty two centuries after Venus, to public display after Venus. Short black curly hair. Venus. Her hand grasps a feather quill the neck & chest display her wealth. All I can do is sit back and enjoy and dream and fall back and hope that my head doesn’t touch the floor. Storm coloured blue, quiet before the storm. Cheeks with red roses cheeks too fragile to touch, the vision of Madonna above cigar butts and over my portal the picture of you and she makes me young. I can’t help myself any more. Stretch out and feel that dress. Lace & satin. Within two seconds lime like light lights my skull and explodes.
The grey background becomes more narcissistic, more vivid, violent, not meant to be grasped by anyone, not even You. And that collar can make the most hard-headed man bleed from his hands and all assonance is drained from the motionless frame. The lingering wasteland of solid rock hard cement on a sky of meditations, levitations in free verse and Haikus out of control. The walls carry traces of abuse tonight. High heel marks, lipstick and mustard stains and I’m unable to sleep or walk in sleep half silence and with reason.
1630. Oil on canvas. Grand Ducal Collection, Vaduz, Liechtenstein
Henrietta Maria and the dwarf, Sir Jeffrey Hudson 4 The Queen’s Dwarf, a monkey on his shoulder a monkey for the Queen. The colors contrast with the surroundings, the queen in blue the rest is red. Is her blood blue too? My veins are open and my eyes muddy. Yesterday I dreamed about a flying monkey and Africa and Rhinos roaming the jungle. The smell of meat and dust and mud, red roads drenched in blood a river of blood from here to Timbuktu. Tonight’s heat will dry that dream and it will fall into dust.
Open veins of yesterday. Hung over bed sheets and ash everywhere. All the dishes are still in the sink, been standing there for four long days now. Can’t see the point of complain. We’re too dull to understand.
not a monkey, I don’t have a monkey on my back, I wouldn’t mind a kiss from a monkey though, if I was a monkey myself. G8 are doing all they can. Glazed politicians, who strive to make my present tastier, but, why then? I read the news today, today and yesterday. Still no news from the poets in Ghana. Still no news from them.
1633. Oil on canvas. The National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, USA
Children of Charles 1 5 Autumn is fun for these kids dressed as small adults they contrast small children. The boy to the left the future king to the left. Who went to France in exile, who later was brought back, who promoted theatre and poetry, who gambled on the wrong poet and received satire after satire from the drunk poet. But this is all in the past and we cross out February 25th 2010 and it’s 8:39 a.m. and I think it’s going to rain today. I got no other plans today than to stay at my desk with my books and papers and pictures and you. And living is easy these days at least for now, even though I got a pain in my head from wearing my hair too long and I think about the poets in the world both alive and dead and hope they’re happy on a day like this with art poetry and coffee anything can happen and nothing will.
France, Paris, 18:49, May, not in exile, only sweating. A little drunk, been walking Boulevard St Germain all day. Drank the most expensive beer at café Lipp. Ate croque moisure, walked along the Seine. Kept you with me all the time through the narrow streets past benches filled with lovers. Stood for one hour looking at Notre Dame. I think you’re my Dame. Had dinner with a stray dog before I went home and fainted on my bed. And this is not a dream. It can’t be. I feel too awake and I think song is better. All I cross out is muffled footsteps & muffled minds.
1635. Oil on canvas. Windsor Castle, Royal Collection, UK
Portrait of Charles I 6 Three Times Charles 1st. Blue, Red, Lilac. White silk collars. The royal Pearl dangles from his ear. The royal star shines on his shoulder. Three times Charles 1st nose. Crooked flesh, outstretched with a bump. A royal deformation displayed three times in a dimly lit room where sounds of chatter dies away and nothing is left and where are you now? Lost somewhere in the smallest cracks behind the dumpsters and it’s all over before it began.
When I asked about the painter, a Saturday in February, somewhere between four and five, the short curly haired woman behind the desk looked up and said no, it’s not here. Nothing is here. Only a landscape portrait and it’s not on display. To my surprise I found it. In British paintings not far from Michelangelo’s drawings, up the staircase, the royal star and his royal ear piece. And it’s already to late and instead we got lost in the section of patterns and later found our way down where all the replicas stand, lying to the tourists. They don’t fool us. I know what’s behind. What if it falls, you asked, where would you run? Nowhere, they’re fake. I’ll just catch them and force them back. Nothing here’s what it seems, a museum of phonies and forgeries. Even the school of Athens knows it ain’t real.
1636. Oil on canvas. Windsor Castle, Royal Collection, UK
Portrait of James Stewart, Duke of Lennox and Richmond 7 It’s 15.40, London, England. James Stuart the older carries the kings star on his left shoulder, no sleep for days, time goes by too quickly. His black robe awakes the darkness in his eyes, pulls it out makes it visible. His right hand rests on the elegant animal by his side. Everything I’ve read so far is not what it seems, hyped up, kitsch, ultraviolent, not realistic and too big to swallow. What about the stuff I see? On his feet grows black roses, one on each foot. Why so pensive James? The clock keeps ticking & you don’t age at all. Did they dispose of you in the fields of Oxford? The ants are gone asleep by now out on those plains. The stain on the carpet is still here even though I’ve tried to wash it off it sticks to my feet and my mind and sometimes to you and my head is too small and my thoughts too big.
By the time the poem was written the time was no longer 15.40, and in fact the day referred to was sunny without a cloud and it was not Thursday but Monday, and this was three or four years ago and by the time it was finished the stain was no longer there. The poem is no longer underrated nor is it overrated it is simply there, a fragment of the poet’s imagination or perhaps an evidence of the idea that poetry or the poet is linked with radio transmissions from outer space. Or perhaps what Burroughs said, that language is a virus from outer space? What does the words really mean? Where do they come from? Who made them? How do I turn on the espresso machine, who feeds my dog, where does the stars come from? Red between the lines, the lines become more fascinating then before, and the endless staircase leading from one sentence to another becomes too mundane to follow. 7
1637. Oil on canvas. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA
Lord John Stuart and His Brother Lord Bernard Stuart 8 Two young boys, not even twenty, one in gold the other dressed in blue silk. Looking tired, perhaps hung over from last nights binge. Blonde, curly locks cover their foreheads one look away, the other look at me. White gloves & riding boots, white skin, almost pale. His white hand rests on a pillar. They didn’t know, when they were painted that they were to be killed, stabbed most likely by swords or maybe spears by the King’s opponents who later executed him, who later took him back. They were soon to leave the country for a gentleman’s trip abroad. To Italy and France and learn all a gentleman must know. I wonder what they were like? If they would do what I did when I was eighteen? I don’t think we would have much in common I don’t even think I would like them very much back then, because I don’t think they’ve gone a day without food.
Sources tell us, they were Charles 1st cousins and they were brothers and they were in fact murdered, But if life’s the same as death and the soul continues, why not follow through the yellow light. Strange days, the city turns in its sleep, wipes sleep out off its eyes, pearls on black concrete. No matter how you cut it it’s empty delightful Boloney.
1637. Oil on canvas. National Gallery, London, UK
2nd Portrait of Charles I 9 The decapitated king on his high horse in his shiny grey armour. A light breeze strikes his face and ruffles the leaves of the autumn trees. It’s four p.m. and hot as blazes. In the corner his servant holds his helmet underneath a golden sign: CARLOS REX MAGNAE BRITANIAE. I want a beer, it’s too hot in here. I over hear a Spanish couple talking about shopping and red peppers and it makes me even thirstier. White riding boots, long sword, gleaming, basking in his own presence, God from 1625 until 1649, but even king Charles had to stand naked some times. Shadows under a clouded sky might as well sit down and fall asleep. It’s late now and I don’t know where I am, who I am a ghost, a stranger, a no body in the presence of this man. Instead I split like always, takes me three hours just to get out and find the nearest pub and call you. Dear Maggie, hello. It’s 18:15 p.m.
Does it matter if I cry? That I’m twenty-three, soon twenty-four, Rotting Ginsberg was thirty. I haven’t learned much. Nothing’s changed. I still don’t know where I am. The corridors are still dark purple with black and white patterns. I still dream but I’m never able to recollect them or collect them. Good or bad, you choose. Play God for only a minute and end up Good, end up happy, married, family, bald, dusty, dried up, shrunken like a grape. Transformed into a raisin, those we got in birthday parties, when we were kids. Why did we always get those? White shirt underneath a black shirt, polished shoes. I see my reflection, Narcissus, can’t look away, afraid to fall in. Choose bad, be free?
1638. Oil on canvas. National Gallery, London, UK
Amor and Psyche 10 This happens when an angel dies falls down to the ground white and blue. She crashed down to the left underneath the chestnut tree, where the sky becomes a dragon, swallowed by a whale. Orange frame light seen through a soft lens. Amor found her, Amor cried for her. His breath the only living sign around here. His tears shattered when they touched her hair, her hair fanned out golden treads. A fan of golden treads, a labyrinth of hair. She died. Her ego died as well. Forever lost, flying over water, flying straight through. Bye Bye
Today my Ego died, 8:48 p.m. Dreamy eyed is how it died; soaring up and out of the open window I’d forgotten to close. What’s left, my hollow shell on the floor, my ego’s dead, but it’s not dying, No, high, on poems, towards the big promise of emptiness and happiness. Falling slowly through the quicksand floor, eyes closed, don’t fight back, relax, just follow the stream. My ego died last night. I woke up and got up and met a brand new day. There are no flies on me today.
1638. Oil on canvas. Kensington Palace, Royal Collection, London, UK
William of Orange and Maria Stuart 11 “Yes, I should be good, I should get married find out what it’s all about”
Yes, I should be good, I should get married, find out what it’s all about. He holds her hand, the young groom dressed in a red silk dress, embroidered with silk, gold and satin. Brown locks fall and curl down his neck. His bride soon to be, not more then fourteen it seems. Pale as the snow that fell today, 14:30, in Amsterdam. All the wars and truces they shall see, (today I saw new photographs of WTC) I’ve seen them before. But I’ve never seen you two, before today. I admit that. Did you live in darkness? Could it really be? If nothing else on this drunken day this is my wedding gift, some centuries to late.
The game’s underway and there’s plenty to do, there’s poetry everywhere even though it’s not very bright anymore, outside. We walked a lot, saw a lot of weird freaky people, what do you (I) expect? And a lot of flowers, shooting up from the green bed, floating purple.
The man falls in love with
fire, visits her at night like a wind. Through the vulgarity of softly opening and closing reed blinds, the woman swears this is love.
1641. Oil on canvas. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Portrait of Francois Langlois 12 Eyes laughing, darting to the left. Dressed in red cotton, white sleeves in silk, a musician with his bagpipe firmly in both hands. In the left corner, the head of a dog looks up at its master. He keeps his hat on it was too sunny earlier, now it’s cloudy. What time is it there? What time is it here? It’s not too late the museum is still open. He almost leans against the brown clay wall and is ready to play another song for the dog and the crowd. Unaware that the world is fading, that he is fainting. Mr Bagpipe Man it’s too late to play a tune for me. It’s 6 p.m. in London and it’s time to leave. Have dinner, skip dinner, share a bottle and a package another bottle, another package. I’m late for an appointment, I made two weeks ago to avoid being late.
Sound traps without sound, I can see my reflection in the dark table. My forehead has become bigger since last time. It expands in H2O. Severe Cries, Crimes & Punishments and Kerouac still types on his ribbon less typewriter without paper. It’s all right Ma, I’m just another person crying. What if I’ve got an English pen in an English garden? The walrus and me can stand in the English rain. Thursday, 18:30, late for dinner, running along an English pavement lawn.
Early 1630s. Oil on canvas. The National Gallery, London, UK
Portrait of William Feilding 13 Van Dyck shows Feilding in oriental dress out hunting with an Indian servant. In his left hand he carries his rifle, his gaze, his look. Uncertain of what he’ll find so far from home. Not used to the landscape he embarks on. His hair is long with silver and his eyes are tired, yet alert. His body hot from climbing those hills, his cheeks red, and he had to unbutton two gold buttons earlier, to breath. He wasn’t quick enough for the parrot his servant pointed out If I was younger he thinks, I would have made that shot, but now, too slow from lazy days in the sun, coffee and cakes late nights with wine and song. I never should have come he sighs and turns to face the camp.
My memory is the history of time. These days, what’s left to explore? What’s not left to consume? I took a round trip to the back of my skull. Can’t complain, it’s nice and cosy here. Ain’t got not no plans to return. Return to what, Mouldy McDonald’s on every corner, latte with hazel, latte without foam, latte with Ice. To hell with it all I’m staying where I am at the back of my skull I’ve got enough to last me a couple of days.
1635-1636. Oil on canvas. The National Gallery, London, UK
The Balbi Children 14 Two black crows on the first step, one plucking on a black flower, the other looks up at the oldest of the children. The oldest of the three, holds a black hat with black feathers, gazes out in nothingness. Empty eyes, white, transparent skin. Hidden underneath a red and silver silk costume, red and silver blade, one hand out-stretched. A costume. Drop the green curtain and disappear here. Little sister let that sparrow go. Why so thoughtful little sister? In the distance grey clouds approaches so give this poem a modern spinoff underneath concrete, glass, steal, syringes. Will they still be stars of CCTV?
Abandon all hope ye who enters here
and hope for the best.
Unless, we love, love for all itâ€™s worth and leave the needles underneath the counter where they belong. One Nation underneath CCTV, because this is how it ends, with wind, children and song 21:53, London, England, been out the whole day, all vegetation dead, covered under a silent blanket, five feet high. Similar to the moon tonight when all sound is drained from the surroundings and nothing except stars can be seen.
1599-1641. Oil on canvas. The National Gallery, London, UK
Charity 15 “Dear Maggie, hello. It is 5:15 a.m. dear Berrigan. He died” TED BERRIGAN
Dear Maggie, hello. It is 5:15 a.m. dear Berrigan, He died. How old are you these days? Don’t look to the sky, you won’t find him there, among angels and white clouds. Take good care of your three, naked young boys, they already crawl all over you. Wrap your light blue cape tighter around your white linen shirt. I know it’s early, but I just got the news. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for that. But hey, what’s the problem, it was one of those sleepless nights anyway. Was blown away by pills and testosterone and sweat a few hours ago. I wish I could join you Maggie, You and the triplets. I can’t, it’s already 5:30 I’ve got other news to break.
But we cannot break something that doesn’t exist. We can stay and dream and hope. Dusk comes earlier these days, why? Orange light is the only light that seems to escape the windows outside the window. Sometimes it’s cold blue with hints of white. Sometimes the dream is real, or was it the other way around? If piles & piles of books and poems create satisfaction what about pills & powder and your body print still hot in the bed?
1627-1628. Oil on canvas. The National Gallery, London, UK
Self Portrait with a Sunflower 16 The large yellow flower, taller than the painter leans back from his face, hides from view while he points and peers at me. I’ve got a flower on my table next to my lamp, cost me £29.90 for both and the flower lost it’s yellow heads and the lamp get’s to hot. Most of you seem to be dressed in red? Why? Why not blue, green or pink? With his spare hand the artist thugs at a golden chain, a snake around his shoulder. How did he get that flower where it stands now? Where does he stand now? Don’t know where I stand, can’t see the real thing. I’m writing this down, 7 a.m. Friday, the same day I’ll be going home for my godson’s baptism. Technology, incredible, a few steps with my fingers I’ve got all the galleries in the world and I’m the curator, the narrator, the viewer, the student and the unknown. My portrait will never be seen.
Friday in February, on my way to catch a plane. In a drunken state, clothes barely cling to my body anymore. I got tired of them anyway. So unfamiliar they look behind the glass in wooden frames. How strange that all the waitresses have an eastern accent. Did they all decide to stay? The red dress is the most powerful symbol I know bare feet in the sand. That was a different life on a different planet. How many in this pub read poetry? How many on this planet will ever read mine? Why do I care? Does it matter? Red is still a symbol, even though it was lost beneath the waves that washed up on the beach surrounded by steep green cliffs. I have new symbols and routines now. That I wake up to, but if you look closely at the bottom of the tall, ice filled glass, you can see them frozen fast in the middle of the glass.
1632. Oil on canvas. Private Collection
The Gentleman with Sword 17 Le Gentilhomme à l’épée Portrait présumé du peintre Jan Boeckhorst
He hangs in Louvre, Paris 16:44 p.m. only a train trip away, two hours away. The Gentleman in black, green and white that blends with translucent skin contrasts his fine brown mustache. His large almond shaped eyes to the left. What’s he looking at? Why are all of these people standing next to pillars? Why’s the sky always dark? The Mona Lisa is too small and The Delacroix too grand. I can’t help notice that he’s smiling if you look closely but his smile will not be as recognized as others. Is that a damn shame?
It wasn’t until after you left that I picked up the scarf you left behind and held it up to my face. The sweet smell of almond liquor lingered in it and I gazed out the window and almost hoped to see a different view, Paris? But it’s 16:44 p.m. London and the scarf vaporized and the almonds changed into snow that fell thick and hard in front of me and landed soundlessly on the ground in hopes of remaining.
1625. Oil on canvas. Musee Du Louvre, Paris, France
Diana and a Nymph Startled by a Satyr
The Rubenesque woman rests her head in her arm naked, only draped in velvet the Nymph clings to her afraid to let go. I’ve been here before several years ago with my mother at midnight on the ground. Dead animals in a pile, deer, peacock, birds, rabbit. the hunting dog rests to the left eyes closed paws crossed. The Satyr slides down points, laughs disrupts the scene. I stop before this madhouse and takes it all in, if I close my eyes will it all go away? No! Yes! Maybe! You don’t have to worry about colics and fits from me anymore or evermore either.
Madrid in the Spring, one of the most wonderful cities I’ve visited. The narrow streets and the large Plazas, Tapas and Sangria, Red wine make your head spin and whirls up red dust to the sounds of drums and cars and angry Madrileños arguing over who was first in line. No, Si, Quizas. Can you hear the words of Lorca blow from Andalucía? The Kingdom of the Moors, Alhambra during sunrise.
If Madrid had nothing else than the Prado it would be worth
spending a month in every spring, said Hemingway. I agree, who wouldn’t, who wouldn’t come just for this place.
1622-1627. Oil on canvas. The Prado Museum, Madrid, Spain
Queen Henrietta Maria 19 All those flowers that you never grew That you wanted to grow BOB KAUFMAN
All those flowers that you never grew that you wanted to grow. A child of beauty all the flowers in the world. Such vivid colours, such a hypnotizing green. Reminds me of Absinth before it’s mixed. Mix the absinth and there’s the colour of your skin. Milky white no doubt about it.
She stands with her fog, her Amphetamines, her beautiful tears blossoming in her eyes. So hard to live up to Disjunctive verses, can’t make it rhyme with broken imagery. That venom green stings my eyes and makes them bleed and it’s 7:30 a.m. and my groin hurts and muscles ache. Poetics are no longer adequate for it’s profit to profit. A bloody overcoat lies in a heap & your green dress torn on the middle.
1632. Oil on canvas. The Royal Collection, London, UK
George Digby, 2nd Earl of Bristol 20 Draped in Gold Against Black. Royalist politician, royalist friend. A mane of golden hair, a halo around his head. Thin slim ivory fingers. I got the message today 13:14 p.m. Head spinning. Brain Buzzing, and outside my window the incubus awakes after a long refreshing sleep.
My pink scalp becomes more visible for every day that disappears down the drain with old hairs or new, I don’t know how it works. I use a pocket mirror to see the back of my head. I can see all the way to the bedroom and the naked foot sticking out from the blankets. Don’t know why, it has nothing to do with control. I’ve got no control. Self pity? Self torture? Maybe. I don’t know. Pop vitamin Bs & Omega 3s like a pill popping house wife but still no results, it wouldn’t bother me so much if I knew how I’d look without hair, I’ve always had it long and I’ve lost the courage to do something about it, don’t believe in the golden road leading to the wizard of Oz, it’s up to time now, and there’s nothing I can do.
1638-39. Oil on canvas. Unknown location
The Red Ceilings Press
MMX [rcp 10] http://redceilings.blogspot.com