seance in a gallery

mirror art pistoletto

at the gallery with
standers…standing me
apart…as it should be
me… and the whoever
there pendant in the rooms

I search for connection
to be with that distant one
who’s thinking me the ropes…
some grasp of their experience…
though tenuous at best and
not meant to be a séance

except when I’m in the moment
and…I stroll and stop and stroll
and stop, and gaze and gaze and
read title cards…

“Tropic Table Afternoon”
still life…papaya…guava…mango
coconut’s monkey eyes looking
back at me

“Henry James’ Dinner Tales of Asparagus”
abstract…white…silver…faded green
ice tink to cut crystal in a distant room

“Cold Cereal at Midnight”
impressionist…bare light bulb
open window…barren kitchen
November raining in my mind

all flat painted canvas on flat painted wall
and I turn outside from in…restless
for store front windows on busy streets,
unless it’s Banksy…then all bets are off
keep away the rain…take pictures for a book
on a coffee table

Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by Michelangelo Pistoletto

Lincoln Descants

lincoln sign

Smolder in the Marble

his hands
at the memorial
are rumored signing
his initials…how crass
how uncomprehending
is his sculptor to imply
such conceited vanity

so out of touch
with that great man
who smolders in the marble
gaunt framed, grim,
with those famous hands
tense primed to intent,
hard work knuckled…swollen
from a thousand signings
and the wrestling
with a nation
* * * * *


There is a gray quilted lining
for his black wool greatcoat
where an emblematic eagle
spreads defensive wings
as from its beak furl two banners:
“One Country”…”One Destiny.”

Yes…it is that greatcoat
the one he wore that night…
that awful night.

As he occasionally laughed
at the comedy below,
he became distracted
by a sudden chill.

He retrieved that greatcoat
to chase the cold away,
wrapping his tall spare frame
in the eagle and the banners.

Then oblivion of mind
while his strong heart kept beating
beneath the useless warmth
where an eagle spread its wings
above one country…one destiny.

* * * * *

lincoln  5 65

The Gaze

the gaze…
the penetrating awareness
the importance of the moment
for he still held his glasses…a pencil
to stay his body for a camera shot
just as if he knew…he knew
this picture would be the forever
look at us…at us…years to future
as if to say… this… is who I am


Bonnie Marshall

Photo Credits:
The Gaze: Photographer, Alexander Gardner, February 5, 1865
Greatcoat: National Park Services, Ford’s Theater Lincoln Museum
Smolder in the Marble: Sculptor/Designer, Alexander Chester French