Sabine Miller


Of Mentors and Cabbage Whites

He said the only thing he feared was a blank canvas; it was hard for him to give straight answers; he showed me the limestone quarry and the white peacocks; many people tended his avocado groves; we played word games at the family table; the quarry was a scaled-up pointillist landscape; he spoke in riddles; the quarry was a scaled-up pointillist abstract; I fear I will paint a tumbleweed instead of a pine cone; I fear my woods look like window dressing; cabbage white wings can be used for sun spots in the absence of skill; I paste them to a transparent medium; the vodka helped him be not afraid; he used the hue of his eyes; he wanted my friend to pose for him; I was a Scylla in his path; he used his memory and imagination; he painted her sitting on a half-column; the cabbage white chiton was trimmed to the waist; the sky behind her was eye-blue; she looked at me from the top of our stairs; he smiled constantly; I fear the last stroke more than the blank canvas; that freak snow took the avocado trees; a hurricane took the roof from his studio; the groves are filled with imported fruit; the quarry is gone; each painting was made of many dots; I will wait until tomorrow to do the last pine cone; it’s delicate.

His Purple Landscape

Some say they see poetry in my paintings, I see only science” — Seurat

I want to walk back through those hills that are also a songline of dusk: each dot contains many dots; each dot is topographical; the dots are small cairns of color; each cairn is the palate of a Seurat parasol but stacked; each is a composition in itself; adjacent dots vary the scheme until it shimmers; I see them in hard focus now: the shorter wavelengths flee the horizon to tint the quarry dust; the particles cling and settle before night.

for James Humble (1941-2021)

Our driveway was long and wild; no one came for Halloween; we played with language; we had no religion but music; the duff was deep in the grove; the dog dreamed down squirrels; the squirrels ate half of each fruit; the dog was put down; the way was narrowed in this way;

it widened in each of our wildernesses; you could wade in the grove; we buried the dog in the duff; the squirrels dreamed her up the drive; we had no religion but travel; movement is holy;

the tiles are cool on the threshold; the painter sits at the table; the dog runs the distance; the painter feeds the dog; half-fruits ripen as duff; half-fruits are falling; it’s a long way but shorter today; it’s worth the trip to say hello.

Sabine Miller's chapbook, Branch to Finch, is available through Ornithopter Press. She lives in all the warmest parts of the US.
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Blogger Jack Galmitz said...

Your visual art is beautiful, Sabine.
I love the loose use of a grid and the evolving shapes based on a paradigm.
You've just opened it up and developed this skill.

12:14 AM  

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