“Georgia O’Keeffe Giving Head at Lake George to Big Al and the Viewer in an Eternal Head Shot” by John J. Trause

…….. …Intruding upon her face-off with the camera,
breaking into the frame from the left,
obscene in its ripeness, the fruit-filled frondage
as envisioned by Carlo Crivelli
gestures at a Georgian Georgia
with an intentness and intensity
reserved for certain gourds
and other organs of pleasure and pain,
of ripeness and readiness, of prompt succor
like an insolent tousle of hair,
like a fat tassel in the drape at the window,
like a fleshy process or proboscis,
like a throbbing thuribulum just before
it shoots its wad of frankincense
to the limits of the lacunaria, – I’m reaching here –
like that inevitable Crivellian cucumber
that insults the Virgin Theotokos,
like the pendulum of my grandfather’s clock,
too large for the shelf,
like my dick,
like Alfred’s dick,
like the tick-tock of a cock about to blow
and shoot its spasms of jism
on the face of a proto-atheo-agnostico-eco-lesbian
in her unsullied lushness of youth,
long before the dryness of a New Mexican arroyo
courses the striations of her ancient, magmatic moue,
long before them dry bones bone her dry.

….. ……She is still cool and wet
as the rain on the lake,
and she remains a head.

– John J. Trause

NOTE: On Alfred Stieglitz’s photograph Georgia O’Keeffe: A Portrait — Head (1920). “Georgia O’Keeffe Giving Head at Lake George to Big Al and the Viewer in an Eternal Head Shot” first appeared in The Rutherford Red Wheelbarrow no. 2 (2009), pp. 148-149.

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John J. Trause is the Director of the Oradell Public Library. His chapbook of poetry Seriously Serial is published by Poets Wear Prada, Hoboken, New Jersey. His translations, poetry, and visual work have appeared in numerous publications. His chapbook Latter-Day Litany (Éditions élastiques, 1996) in its performance version (Latter-Day Litany & Other Pseudo-Hagiographica) has been staged Off-Off Broadway and elsewhere by Daniel P. Quinn since 1998. For the sake of art Trause hung naked for one whole month in the summer of 2007 on the Art Wall of the Bowery Poetry Club.

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