Half Drunk Muse Poetry


Rothko’s No. 14, 1960 by John Nimmo


glows, grows, explodes
out of the painting.


below, fuses into the dark
brown that surrounds.
Nearly nothing,
it recedes. It sinks.
It tries not to be there.


they become
plus-minus, in-out,
boy-girl, up-down, pain-joy,
hot-cold, push-pull, scream-gasp.


mar the orange.
Explosions are messy.
Purity turns to dirt.
Without crud
how could it glow?
The blue has sucked itself clean.
Mark, this is obvious.


fill space and fit
with nothing between.
They are bricks, windows,
postage stamps, driveways,
scarves, credit cards,
beds, books, sarcophagi,
sarongs, doors, bathmats,
suitcases, milk cartons,
quilts, Persian carpets,
almost every sheet of paper I’ve seen in my life,
and oil paintings.


draws me in.
Retroceding blue repulses.
Fulminating orange attracts.
I can walk away,
take the balance
out of the room,
and leave No. 14
sucking and glowing.

View bio for John Nimmo Published in Fall 2004

About HDM

Half Drunk Muse was one of the first poetry ezines. It was founded in 1999 and ceased publication in 2006.

Questions/comments? Email samiller@halfdrunkmuse.com.