Happy Birthday, Gustav Klimt
(July 14, 1862 - February 6, 1918)
Today you are painting in your garden:
champagne-colored Roses, Edelweiss,
the voluptuous brunette model holding still,
yet in a languid attitude of availability,
Alpine Carnations, small sunflowers....
And two other girls are at-frolic in the garden,
the lithe brunette, a street nini, and escapee
from a parsonage or nunnery... who knows for sure?
And the new girl, a strawberry-blonde,
beautifully naked but for a blue leather
dog-collar-necklace... flame-red pubic hair
spring bud nipples... her sweet voice
like raindrops on crystal goblets.
Your brush work is light, feather-soft.
The strawberry-blonde flirts,
asks if she would make
a wealthy young gentleman's cocotte,
floats past you in near-orgasm,
and you, you who dislike social life,
are aroused by intimacy with blush-radiant skin,
velvety skin. And the brunette you are painting
flows her hands down her breasts and belly
in joyful competition for your next caress.
Today Gustav, at liberty, you are in your
fecund garden, painting a nude.
Science and industrialism enslave.
Eros, ecstasy-eternal, supple in gold
arousal-light, gives freedom.
This poem and other bio-sketch poems are presented in Red Shuttleworth's Ghosts & Birthdays (Humanitas Media Publishing, 2012), a poetry book available from Amazon: