The Poet Reclining
- Beneath the purple haze
- Holding his throat. The horse and pig
- Dog graze upon green
- Motionless as dream
- Do they also dream
- Outside the frame, the
- Sleeper has been soundly
- Shot. He is dying from
- Lack of poetry, from
- Paint beneath the purple haze
- That horse and pig
- Dog freeze
- graze upon green
Yet another instance of the this painting by Chagall – The Poet Reclining – entering into a Canadian poets work. George Whalley likened the works of George Johnston in The Cruising Auk to the “dream landscape” of this Chagall work.
Morse is describing the same painting in the poem above, written after reading poet Artie Gold’s cityflowers , where a dialogue between two characters simply named J and F, sounds as if it could be like a dialogue between the poets Jack Spicer and Frank O’Hara:
With the image of the poet asleep, on a personal level (is anything not on this level?), I had one of those [eerie] moments where the resonances between Artie Gold’s book and my own homage to Spicer reached one of those inexplicable Wordsworthian spots of time (at least according to the imagination of Jorge Luis Borges). Not having heard of one another, it felt like Gold had been reading my book published this year, except decades earlier. F describes the painting of the poet asleep by Chagall:
my sleep was short like Rousseau’s poet asleep or
even that of Chagall’s. I awoke bruised at the foot
of the ladder I’d stumbled from.
About the Poet:
Garry Thomas Morse, (contemporary) is a Canadian poet and fiction writer. Morse is the author of several books of poetry, including: Transversals for Orpheus (2006), Streams (2007), After Jack (2010), and Discovery Passages (2011), an exploration of his mother’s Kwakwaka’wakw First Nations ancestry.
Following his first collection of fiction Death in Vancouver (2009), Morse has added the three books of his experimental speculative fiction series The Chaos! Quincunx – Minor Episodes / Major Ruckus, Rogue Cells / Carbon Harbour, and Minor Expectations (Fall 2014).
Grounded in the work of Arthur Rimbaud, Robert Desnos, Ezra Pound, Jack Spicer, Rainer Maria Rilke and his Native oral traditions, Morse’s work has been featured in a variety of publications, including Branch Magazine, Canadian Literature, The Capilano Review, Poetry is Dead, subTerrain, The Vancouver Review and West Coast Line.
Morse is a casual commentator for Jacket2 and his work continues to appear in a variety of publications and is studied at various Canadian universities, including UBC and SFU. He currently resides in Regina, Saskatchewan. [DES-07/14]