Lonely Woman

For Nhat Chi Mai, Vietnamese nun
w
ho self-immolated May 16, 1967

I was lonely

Artists mesmerized me

Jackson Pollock / Ornette Coleman

 

I was lonely, mesmerized

by fiery ideas

my brain burned

 

My ideas a conflagration

It was 1967

I was a woman, lonely

 

in a world of Art

a world at war

I had my own ideas

 

Artists, mostly men

had already painted

the end of music

 

had already played

the end of painting

burned up all ideas

 

while I remained mesmerized

focused on sanity, on peace

It was 1967 and their war burned up

 

the top of my skull

I felt it coming

from the top of my skull

 

Liquid heat

breath entered my lungs

Flames sucked out oxygen

 

I was mesmerized by

Jackson and Ornette

Flames mesmerized me

 

Because of Jackson

Because of Ornette

Because the She-Wolf

 

Because the Moon Woman

Cut the circle

Cut the circle

 

Flames cut the circle

I had wanted to paint my own paintings

play my own music

 

hear / taste

smell the edge

of flames consuming all conventions

 

I parachuted like Jackson Pollock

out of my skin

like Ornette Coleman while

 

you burned up

I parachuted

I shed

 

The Guardian of the Secret

I searched for a symbol

while the heat increased

 

the line between logic and chaos

lost its meaning

Music, painting split, folded the pavement

 

Ruby, ruby, flames

A cyclone of blue poles

up up, more up

 

The key / the gyroscope / the tone

of art split

the pavement

 

where you self-immolated

You sacrificed

Night dancer / heaven & hell

 

We were lonely women

at the change of the century

The shape of things to come

 

I watched the

development of the foetus

my eyes in the heat

 

ears in the heat

tongue in the heat

Jackson & Ornette split the pavement

 

Congeniality swallowed

full fathom fire &

the mesmerism of flames

 

I eventually grew away from

the wooden horse, from 1967

from Jackson & Ornette

 

from the world

where men

waged their wars

 

I used my loneliness

used lavender mists

I, too, sat still with

 

nothing left

But chronology

Nothing on the horizon but emptiness

 

not even Easter & the totem

It was too late to say no

after a history of saying yes

 

of being mesmerized by

Jackson & Ornette

who were maybe listening

 

The world, the war was maybe listening

while you ascended in flames

on the streets in Saigon

All work protected by copyright © 2017 by Brigid Meier