Klein’s Blue

Ekphrastic Poetry

Of the three boys
on a beach
who divided up the world

he got the sky
and signed his name
on its pristine surface,

then lay back to look up
at what he had created
thinking that God

must be envious.
But how he hated the birds
that flew across his perfect,

cloudless canvas
boring holes into his
most beautiful work.

Searching for a blue to beat
the creator at his own game
he suspended pure pigment,

particles of heaven
in crystal resin. Young girls.
their breasts and pubic hair

smeared in ultramarine
pinned down his sky
as he orchestrated them

in tuxedo and white gloves;
though the lines
of the actual body

held no interest,
for at night he dreamt only
of alchemy, of gravity and grace,

of stepping from that high
window to float above the city street
in a void of endless blue.

Published in The Forgetting and Remembering of Air
Salt 2013

Yves Klein, Blue Monochrome, 1961

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