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From the North East of England. Poetry, prose and cultural comment to keep you engaged and alert.

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Rothko (Tate Modern 2008)

 

Room by room, guided

Through the great man’s imagination,

We do not need our own.

Each pulsating colour, eviscerated,

Every throbbing brush stroke, explained.

Commentary in one hand, notebook in the other,

Wrestling with the unrelenting rhythm of red.

 

Seagram murals

Stripped of context, re-set and renumbered.

Intensity relaxed,

Density diluted,

Immensity, scaled back.

Guidebooks, handsets, silent colours screaming,

How black is black?

How like black is darkness?

 

Modern masters strip the layers,

Ravaging ultra-violet reveals the red mystique

Of strokes, glazing, mixing.

Dissection undivided dulls the artist’s voice.

 

Dimly lit, secretive and alone

The brown gray purple sea at night

Breathes life into the room,

Echoing like the desert blues

Discreet, vibrant and timeless.

 

Finally framed, black on grays

Betray no bleeding edges.

No knife wounds.

No gashed yearning.

 

The wind is arctic,

The exit beckons.

 

Steve Bishop