David Swartz "RELIGION WITH AN EDGE"
biblicalfictions.com
Poetry for the Curious across the Religious Spectrum
Schiele One

{Holy Family}

 

 

                                       Schiele

         

x          Holy Family          1913

 

 

This fleshly dialectic fuses in their fingers,

A triad, each in isolation,

Father, mother,

Child.

 

The latter, Christ, the son,

Would have his messianic

Mission,

Peering from an orange mist, umbilicus,

 

A womb.

Mother is of the same geometry, a well

Of orange light,

Real grace in the shadowed eyes,

 

The sleepy features.

Father himself

Is carnal, worldly, spreading his substance

Wife-ward through sharp fingers,

 

Cold juice that she returns

In an ascending hand

Up to his pointed face.

Grace

 

Of a sort is in their sloe-eye stares,

All past each other,

Infant like a nascent Buddha, radiating locus,

For here

 

Is the world that’s coming,

Wrought of a suspect

Coupling,

Thesis begetting wife and wife a son,

 

From Adam’s rib a Fall.

How will this

Young lad share his semen?  A virgin’s lust must

Puzzle Egon.

 

 

                                   

                                                             Schiele

 

ii     Crouching Female Nude with Blue Stockings     1912              

 

 

The flesh seems shaken, suspended,

A gust, a gust of wind,

From the black

Heeled shoes

 

To stockings blue-to-shock beneath the knees,

Where one plump fecund

Thigh

Borders like a ghost of blond,

 

Too visible, a wraith,

Yet tactile,

Liquid,

Seeping into the blue, and up into the flesh-form,

 

Buttocks touched by yellow,

Tint of the carnal

As this figure

Floats from the tense of legs, upward,

 

Ripple of undulations,

Hips, ribs,

One pale vulnerable breast with its sharp line

Feeling at the tinted wash

 

That frames her.

And yet, it is the hair

That has us,

That shake of rich brown, tousle,

 

As if the whole diaphanous body ends outward

In feathery thread-ends,

The tense

In the airy form erupting through black,

 

Blue, yellow (here the tint following the back)

To a brown fuzz

Of queenly hair and armpit,

And that’s it.

  

                                         

 

                                                                         Schiele

 

 

v      Kneeling Semi-nude in Yellow Stockings      1917

 

 

Egon would have us focus at a nipple,

For here a lady’s calm intent

Raises her breast

For observation,

 

That miracle of flesh, the yellow tip,

Lean ribs,

Expressive hands tensed at her investigation,

Slender

 

Sculpted

Fingers.

The slim slash of brow is a harlequin’s,

Artful, intact,

 

The nose precise and lovely.

She purses lips

To watch herself, that swell, that surge, that chant,

All graced

 

By womanhood secure in a welt of time,

A lapse, a celebration.

She cannot serve

Our rapt frustration, willful gaze to mamma

 

Downward

To the narrow torso, sucked in belly,

Ragged downturned

Camisole,

 

The bulk of her undergarment reaching

To the yellow stockings.

Disheveled hair

Crowns our torment.

 

We wish.

One hears it in the painting, in the tones of flesh

And chill decision.

She is lean, abstracted, lush.

 

                                             1986