My Furious Heart Has Many Rooms

I’ve been meaning to do a slightly ekphrastic piece for Chris Millar’s sculpture 370H55V for a while, after seeing it last month in Massachusetts. It’s absolutely stunning in person: an intricate doll’s palace that seems to float in midair, containing hundreds (thousands?) of individual pieces, each of which seem to have erupted from a Wonderlander dropping acid. (I think I remember hearing/reading that it was almost entirely crafted from bits of paint, too? Not sure.) This poem could have been done ten times over, choosing different images each time, and been just as wiggly. See photos below.

Donna’s prompt to do a piece using all prepositional phrases was the impetus to get this down. It’s not a particularly elegant poem, but I guess it will do. There’s a line break with each preposition, and a Biblical allusion for good measure. Why not!

My Furious Heart Has Many Rooms
(after Chris Millar’s “370H55V”)

Between the distant ground and the impossible sky,
aboard a flying saucer wearing a candy-floss skirt
  and growing translucent crystal
along the xenobotanical garden’s gratings spun
out of silverfish dreams, which are gathered
  to catch the rainbow’s photo negative, dangling
among the twisted trees that climb to meet
  a three-of-spades Pisa, hearts-and-diamonds
  pretending to be Gothic pinnacles
with the sugar and milk teeth onion domes done
in lapis lazuli blue or brittle cracked pink,
  rounding the plumed Arabesque whose glory sings
  like steam escaping a kettle, castle balanced
on dolls’ hands, occupying the chambers
underneath the gangway (which rattles as the late
  February wind makes it shiver),
from which dangles a trinity of roots, until
  it is impossible to tell where the gravity begins,
  how each Fauvist-masked eidolon proceeds
towards the center and blinds itself
to a hollowed half-man, ice-eyed, shotgun barrels
  tongued carefully
against the roof of his mouth, ready to jump
off the edge
at the same time (to make it certain),
  unable to decide the value
of chaos, and beauty, and finally
  thinking maybe no infinity is worth
the tearful trouble.

One thought on “My Furious Heart Has Many Rooms

  1. Joseph: Intellectually challenging, scary as hell, and stirring. The determination this person feels (especially in the gun and jumping off the building to ‘make sure,’ which caught my Black Irish gallows humor off-guard) vs. that isolation that comes with being totally out of balance. Masterful. I have known this person but, thankfully, I’ve never seen her in the mirror. A portrait of madness, well done. Amy

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