Two Paintings on the 4th Floor of the Museum of Modern Art
by Alan Gann


The first time I wrote a poem
about swirling inspiration, I had only seen
the poster and heard the song,
but standing before the real thing
I am more interested in
how much blue the camera phones capture
how much is left unseen

until a teenage boy and his grandfather
looking somehow Midwestern
in plaid shirts and penny loafers
shush and wave everyone aside
to stand about six feet away
and just stare at the twisted sedge, church steeple,
village, moon and stars—

So that’s what it’s all about
and the crowd drifts into the next gallery
to take another photo
failing
to grasp the swaying man’s
anxiety
unable to understand his Norwegian cry

And who are those two people on the bridge
walking away
back to the tamed city and placid lake
the shrinking forest and relentlessly
into the onrushing century






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