Lonely Woman

For Nhat Chi Mai, Vietnamese nun
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