On Seeing Duchamp's Nude Descending a Staircase
Splintered, fractured, loosened,
you began a free fall --
a bundle of firewood with untied strings,
slipping from one loose end,
like spilled water in a frozen frame.
Nude, stripped from all signs of life --
no trace of green, no scent of freshness,
no moisture or growth
of the forest you once belonged to --
dried and ready
to turn into cinder in the fire…
yet somehow still bouncy and alive --
as if all the cutting, stripping and splitting
that had been done to you
only unleashed a new life --
a life doesn’t seem to be what it seems,
descending the stair -- but to where?
Robert Y. C. Hsiung
Robert Y. C. Hsiung: "Born in China, attended colleges in US, received degrees in architecture from University of Illinois and MIT. Five decades of architectural practice, combined with teaching and watercolour painting. Wrote poetry during teens, again briefly at age 60, in Chinese. Resumed poetry writing at age 81, in English. This is my first attempt for publication."
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The Ekphrastic Review