smoking s

The blue plumes drift and
sway before my eyes–against my

grey skies they are quite blue,
perhaps merely gasps of ether

and disappointment fitfully
escaping from a covered heart–

caught, mirrored instantly, a
breath of these thin tourmalines,

a grey heart’s horizon of
silence, a shadowy cancan line–

–Frank O’Hara
March 1951

This is my watercolor of the photo that accompanied O’Hara’s poem in the book of early Joan Mitchell paintings that I took out of the library.  I looked for the poem on the internet without luck; perhaps that book is the only place it appeared.

O’Hara’s life intersected with many artists, including Joan Mitchell, and they often made art to accompany his words.  And of course he was inspired by them and their work as well.  One of his most famous poems, “Why I Am Not A Painter”, is ripe for reciprocal illustration, and I hope to get to it sometime in the future.

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About memadtwo

For more madness, follow me on Instagram @h_zimel

8 responses to “Smoking”

  1. createarteveryday says :

    Love the painting, which is a terrific accompaniment to the poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. memadtwo says :

    Love the poem and the painting goes perfectly with it. Lovely use of watercolor.


  3. tequihby says :

    This is a really lovely painting. It captures the mood very well.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mary Michelle Scott says :

    This is gorgeous! Very well done 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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