Untitled | David Wiley | Scene4 Magazine | January 2021 | www.scene4.com|


The Art of David Wiley




(For Philip Lamantia)


Many times I have led this design

to your blinking eyes

many times afterward I imagined

a fountain collapsing

on a pile of columns

purple-stained and full of hands

washed by hysterical seas


and in the evening when the lions

quieted their humming

I wove your hair

into celestial rugs

and poured your effervescent tears

over the broken furniture


the sun sets/I become blind

the mushroom scent of certain beds

weaves a tapestry of distant cousins:

Giotto's perfect circle

the absolute cave

the incomparable escapes

rudiments of tails and wings

a stranger's contemplation of hunger

a framed version of the Golden Mean

the gift of twenty lashes

      applied to a hated idea

the first egg

the nebulous Chaos

      chasing itself with a golden wand


I have become a slave

      to unknown formulas

I have feasted too many times

      with Mamelukes

too many emblems have been sewn

      for the regiments of lepers

too many scenes have been enacted

      for the price of admission

too much time has galloped

      through the exhausted air


I seek now the golden saps

running freely

      in the veins of tropical flesh

I seek the illuminated branches

the mathematical glances of toads and foxes

I seek the august collection of baubles

      immolated on a throne of copper fishes

I seek the caressfully blended magentas

      hiding at the center

      of the eternal past

I seek the aureoled Atlantises of Earth

I seek the trellis-laden flotillas

      of polkadotted irises


I seek to know

the part of you

      that sings so beautifully

      in the midst of a melodrama

I seek to immerse myself

      in the unadulterated cosmic firewaters

      of your breath

I go to the wastelands of paradise

      trailing a retinue of musical ribbons

I want to hear the symphonic roar

      that accompanies the creation of life

I want to know


what is the theme of your play

and why do we listen for other voices

from other places

behind the scenes

in the darkness?

Art and Poetry Selection: Lissa Tyler Renaud

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Scene4 Magazine - David Wiley | www.scene4.com

David Wiley, painter-poet: graduate of U. Kansas; studied at Mexico City College and with artist Ignacio Belen in Barcelona. Widely traveled, he exhibits throughout California and abroad. Wiley has published two volumes of poetry: Designs for a Utopian Zoo (1992) and The Face of Creation (1996). Since 2005, he has received large mural commissions in Arizona, Mexico and California. He is a longtime contributor to Scene4 : paintings, poems, meditations on art, creative fiction and non-fiction. To inquire about his paintings, click here.
For more of his paintings, poetry and writings, check the

©2021 David Wiley
©2021 Publication Scene4 Magazine




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