Thursday, March 5, 2015

Steve Klepetar Plants "Four Trees" with Egon Schiele

Steve Klepetar's work has received several nominations for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, including three in 2014. His most recent collection is an e-chapbook, Return of the Bride of Frankenstein, from Kind of a Hurricane Press. Klepetar teaches English literature at Saint Cloud State University in Minnesota. Read more on his website here.

Mahana No Atua
(Day of the Gods)
by Paul Gauguin, 1894
Mahana No Atua by Paul Gauguin, 1894

the day of the god, she
lowers her feet into terrible

waters, bleeds her
stream, red silk over sand

pink as melon flesh, war
as her sun-stained

head tilted, hair disappearing
in black swoops beyond

her shoulders
and back
to broken rainbow

haunting water's surface,
playing deep

of her eyes, mysterious
as dreams of sleeping children

curled up
into themselves,
naked at her naked side.

The Artist Marcella, 1910
by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner    

The Artist Marcella

broods on
a blue chaise longue
in yellow and blue striped dress
ignoring the fat white
cat curled

on her pale knees. And now she's
angles in blue with tea things
on a silver tray, shaft of cigarette plugged

in scarlet lips. See

Erna with Cigarette, 1915
by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner  
her hands, so strangely
bent, one stroking the other, to soothe
or perhaps
keep time with a drumbeat

that syncopates her mind as she glances
away from
her worried guest. Flocks
of starlings float before her eyes, little

of some nostalgia she has flung
into the street where a naked woman
across a horse gouging circles with its bright red mane.

Four Trees
After the painting by Egon Schiele, 1917

Four oaks on a mountain plain,
three with
crowns of orange gold
Four Trees by Egon Schiele, 1917
as sun sinks toward a jagged peak.
One is nearly bare,
its few leaves
clinging, rags on emaciated limbs.
Striations of sky appear
gaps, thick bands of white, gray,
and brown, with few traces
blazing red, a hectic color in this
slowly fading light. No grass,
these great, deep rooted things
which grip this hard, high
waiting in windless air for night
to rise just beyond the dying


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