Untangling

Jeff Wall Untangling

 

Here is a poem I wrote after viewing Jeff Wall’s large photograph of the same name in the Hirschhorn Museum in Washington DC, back in 1997.   It appears in my book Scattered Showers in a Clear Sky:

Untangling

 

Greasy yellow hose, thick as a child’s arm,

blue rope thick as a dogwood trunk,

white rope grey with dirt, thick as a child’s arm.

 

Hopeless tangle on the workroom floor,

writhing tangle on the workroom floor,

writhing serpents on the workroom floor,

distinguished by the colors of the rope,

 

writhing serpents on the workroom floor,

blue intestines on the workroom floor,

old sea sailings on the workroom floor,

yellow hose thick as a child’s arm,

frayed and broken ends of chestnut mane

together tangled into argument

of complex sentences, equivocations,

qualifications all in a mess

on the workroom floor.

 

Strippers and sanders on the shelf,

unplugged witnesses of argument

say: how will it be undone?

Man attentive to untangling

stares without strategy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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