Posted tagged ‘how beautiful it all looks in black and white’

Ode To Black And White Film (Photographic)

November 28, 2013

20131128-222550.jpg
Ode To Black And White Film (Photographic)

I.

You turn spider veins
below the one-piece to
inroads into
the intimate,
make pimples spots
almost capable of coupling
with the word “beauty;”

wrinkles, under your auspices, shape
a face
like the tentative tries of
the sketch artist,
while the cross-hatch of liver stains
grants depth.

All skin,
no matter the shade,
turns as velvet in your grip
as Colbert’s (Claudette):
all grins claim Clark Gable
as their close kin.

II.

Old names fit
because we enter
another age
between your frames–
time turns back
to a when we mourn
for its lost grandeur,
at least simplicity.

Then one pictures
the harsh-bright hunch of shoulders/breasts/bellies
lined up beside the charcoal-wooled SS;
the black and white stripes of
limbed kindling–

Sheriffs’ belts in the South, the highlit teeth
of snarl, blinding shirts over backs
beaten–

III.

Maybe what we miss is a time when man,
for all his good and cruelty,
operated the machine, the machine
that now runs us–

Maybe what we imagine in your
stilled life
is the machine turned off,
maybe what we hear
in your dark/light are whole minutes
as buzz-free as forests covering with snow,
lost streets pooling in lamplight–

IV.

But even before the machine,
there was a kaching-ching-ching
beneath most human doings,
gold that worked
its own gradations,
sometimes even
posed for its picture.

In its portraits, the ermine borders have spots
frequently, and the strands of fur can almost
be counted.

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Forgive me for the length of this very very drafty all-over-the-place poem, written for Kerry O’Connor’s prompt on With Real Toads to write poetry in black and white.  The idea, explained  beautifully by Kerry, was to write something using various types of contrast, and not necessarily about black and white photography.  My literal brain had a hard time with it, though it really is an excellent prompt.  Check it out! 

The above photograph is not black and white, but it has a very monochromatic feel (and in the distance are forests covering with snow.)