Notes from Philly weblog


with 5 comments

The sky is a Helen Frankenthaler.
The sky, the road, the steel green of Adirondacks’ spruce. The silver Jetta running 70 mph on the rain damp road.. I have the urge to touch the highway girdled with orange cones. To stop, kneel down and touch a road. At twilight this stretch looks soft charcoal.
I don’t sketch. I like the mess those crayons leave in the hand.

I like driving alone thinking of chiaroscuro. How to shade things.
Color obsesses. I make my artist daughter crazy with questions. How much yellow
sparks a seascape? Does this blue need white or rose?

Why can’t I drive into a Helen Frankenthaler? Like those kids who wandered into the wardrobe – some lives need Helen’s depths. Some colors tell us: Dive.

Not long after I was born, Helen applied paint to an unprimed canvas.
I salute all things unprimed.

I watched Helen on YouTube the other day. She was pouring viscous
color onto a canvas big as my basement. She had a brush like the one my father
used to paint the house. Industrial sponges. This has been done.
The point is not the pioneering — it is the joy
in the pouring and the placing.
In the dive.

Tonight’s sky is an early study: limpid shadows, a scribble of yellow.


Written by Lesley Valdes

November 12, 2009 at 9:38 pm

5 Responses

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  1. I love this poem.

    it also reads like the entrance of a novel. or maybe a blognovela?

    Lew J Whittington

    November 13, 2009 at 5:43 am

  2. Thank you! Kinda feels that way.

    Lesley Valdes

    November 13, 2009 at 10:44 am

  3. Lesley, this is your “Song of the Open Road.” Beautiful, and very evocative. I hope you read it to Jetta, so she can feel proud for having so transported you….


    November 13, 2009 at 4:07 pm

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