Updated: Jan 12, 2021
Deleware Crossing, Frank Stella
from "Exhalation in Cadmium Red" by Sonia Di Placido
I tried to share it with you:
how to take apart the toxic words –
the red strokes that obliterate.
But you’ll never get it; unless you come
to see your red splatter as a habit in its ugly
vastness – a canvas caught, distraught.
How ferociousness must stay within
the bounds of some aperture or design,
however abstract on its blank canvas.
This is part of the secret when working
in cadmium red. Knowing the first brush
stroke, feeling out when to stop the color
From overbearing the white space. Knowing
how much pigment is too much for one piece.
How to ease out the measure between paint
And brush with the grip of your fingers. Same
as the dip of a feather tip writing in blood.
The object becomes subtle, sacred, and sleek.
It was fun for a while – making bold red
splotches and strokes of desire. The thick
smell of oil perverse till dried. I began to see
The red tragedy reflected through your eyes –
What had not been imbued.
The lack of skill for containing such
Wanton passion, intricate pleasure.
What is most required when releasing
the awe of a cadmium romance.