Take the horizon line, for example
that marks the limit of sight.
I spend much of my writing time seeking the horizon line. I know that there is no such line but I see the line when I look up from small blocks of text and squint at the sea. To write prose poems is to resist the horizon line—
to seek thick thin straight curved broken wavy lines among crumpled pages.
I work with little ink in my pen and hardly make a mark.
I shade squares while I wait
. This line is rational.
. This line is irrational.
The line break is hesitation or resistance or acquiescence
Lines may multiply as cracks across the surface of an old painting
K’s aberrant periods revoke transparency.
This must be done with a brush, but a brush,
kneeling beneath a table
this was drawing was movement of the arm back
The first broad aspect of a thing is that of color patch red like thyme red like thistle
to make secret blue / to make a secret blue surface
late afternoon, September, the smell of chalk dust,
Make black more precious than a rival’s crimson.
What I learned from Goya’s black—
What I learned from Manet’s black—
What I learned from Matisse’s black—
What I learned from Reinhardt’s black—
What I learned from Dickinson’s black—
—Eva Heisler is an American poet and art critic based near Heidelberg, Germany. Reading Emily Dickinson in Icelandic, a book of poems, is just out from Kore Press. Drawing Water, a long poem reflecting on the line in poetry and the visual arts, is forthcoming from Noctuary Press.