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Kermes & DeLarm-Neri – May 2016

Sanzi Kermes and Jeanne DeLarm-Neri traded art and words. Sanzi shared this image, entitled “II,” with Jeanne:

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In response, Jeanne wrote this poem:

My Mother’s 99th Birthday

I used to pick purple violets
and press them, ring the petals
round my mother’s birthday cake.
Blue sky peeped through the still
naked fingers of April apple trees.

Words parade through a garden,
straight and black as flower stems.
FIN means end, but to SOW means
I must hold a palm full of seeds.
Sprinkle them along the circuit.

I struggle to fit my plasma
through a maze I walked once,
its exit mysterious and cloaked
in crisscrossed branches till I find
my mother, who calls me PETUNIA.

We make dolls out of flowers;
dress them with thin-petal skirts.
Their stamens poke, sticky with nectar.
Marigolds, periwinkles, daisy eyes:
an aroma of vegetation lingers.

The air smells faint as old leaves
blown by wind into angled corners.
A golden screen masks the back yard
view so I can’t see where she has gone.
Even the trees can’t tell.

* * * * *

Jeanne shared this poem with Sanzi:

The Wedding Of

After Fernand Leger’s La Noce, 1912

Bits of silver hardware
lie on a bed of colored paper.

La Noce. A wedding here,
in front of my switched-on eyes.

Arms of the guests shine, hard and blue
and sharp as steel tubes.

Metal robot hands screw into the groom.
Parts fit together in sequence,

fit inside an industrial chamber.
Shadows line the bride’s face.

Adornment drops away: bandages,
gauze, silk tulle, twilit satin.

Her breasts shimmy free and join the river
of mechanical skin, that strange white shade.

In response, Sanzi made this mixed media sculpture of bike parts, entitled “Big Eyed Bride”:

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