i.m. Richard Diebenkorn (1922-1993)
Call this landscape abstract if the world’s splendour
meant nothing to you. If honking trailer trucks, steel sheets,
slate roofs in rain were just notations. If the sky could be sky
only if its dusty clouds were annunciations. If mottled teal,
rust, tan and lavish cobalt could come unhooked
from storefront and seaface, leaving nameless and bare
an ochre streak of hillside. Or boardwalk. Who cares?
That gaunt profile of terrace or deck
should have been a clean axis or plumb line.
And flag that jetty thrusting out to meet the tide
as an exercise, just that, for a brush tuning itself to Form.
You’re translating as you take a slow, shambling walk
around a roomful of canvases: doors that slide
open and ask you politely to take a long fall through.