But You Could Laugh at Our Hopelessness / Sky Solidified / Poem by Nano Taggart
Painting by Andrew Kent-Marvick
But You Could Laugh at Our Hopelessness
After Andrew Kent-Marvick’s Sky Solidified
A hard division splits two panes to the right of center. Graffiti climbs from its concrete and inhabits us at the underpass. Clouds consume our excesses, bear the grease of machines long-since retired. We are cloistered in the perfect place to make things that matter to almost no one. Taught to crouch under our desks when the sirens sounded and not much else, the open spaces slow us down, interrupt our languages with wind and dust. We court fear like a darker world might bolster this by comparison. The gold-trimmed failure is a crown and those around us care too much to even let us down easy—it’s not a metaphor that Cato’s daughter swallowed fire.1 Brows furrow at the edge of questions and daylight’s running down. A lone fox- glove spills pink against the backdrop of a tincture-blue sky dulled by the threat of storm. More and more we veer toward silence in the hours that are actually ours.
1 Words borrowed from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Act 2, Scene 1/Act 3, Scene 3.
Nano Taggart is a founding editor of Sugar House Review, works as director of annual giving and special campaigns at the Tony Award-winning Utah Shakespeare Festival, and is a co-recipient of a grant from the Utah Division of Arts and Museums. Other work from this series can be seen or is forthcoming in 15 bytes and The American Journal of Poetry. He grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada, and St. George, Utah.
Andrew Kent-Marvick is an art historian and abstract painter. He grew up in Los Angeles, with long stays in West Africa, England, France, Germany, Austria and Italy. He holds degrees from Harvard, UCLA, Columbia, and Florence’s Accademia Simi. He has been Southern Utah University’s professor of art history since 2005. He publishes on the transition from traditional to modern art in Europe and America. Until about 2000 his work reflected representational traditions; since then he has been working in a broad variety of abstract styles. To Kent-Marvick, painting is a language, and a natural and indispensable way of responding to life.
This work is part of a collaboration entitled Engine of Color / Motor of Form engineered by Art Works Gallery in Cedar City, Utah. It includes an exhibit (12/1/17–1/31/17) of the paintings and poetry, a small chapbook, broadsides, and educational outreach to Iron County schools. The identically named chapbook is available here.
Header and inset image, Sky Solidified, by Andrew Kent-Marvick.