A year or so back back I started working on a series of poems inspired by Salavadore Dali's "Inventions of the Monsters" painting. It was the first work I had done based on another artist's work since finishing my Cornell project about 10 years ago, and it seemed like an entirely different beast.. I had some individual poems that were art inspired--Gregory Crewdson, Henry Darger--that may one day be longer projects, but nothing quite so ambitions as at the hotel andromeda. While Cornell's boxes always seemed like poems themselves (and the thus the writing of poems ABOUT them, a little on the tricky side.), Dali's work strikes a different cord, at least from a storytelling standpoint, or maybe it's more mythical and Jungian somehow. Regardless, I soon realized that my investigation of the that particular painting was actually spinning out the more and more research that I was doing. That I was discovering pieces of Dali's work that I had never encountered before and that were just as intricate and inspiring.
I had initially encountered the initial painting in the Art institute, I guess, in my visits to the Cornell boxes. It was in one of the galleries that led to the boxes on the southern end (all of which have since been displaced and moved to the Modern Wing--the Cornell's to their detriment). There was a bench where I would sit for awhile making notes near it, so I looked at it a lot more than I would have otherwise. It gave me the creeps and disturbed me in some weird subconscious way (I was having a lot of flaming horse dreams during that time, which I chalked up to a certain amount of imbalance in my life at that point. ) So of course, I made note to write about it at a later date.
So of course, now, moreso than a series of poems about a very specific painting, it has become a series of poems about / inspired by an entire body of work. And every stone that I turn over, seems to reveal another stone, another archetype, another image. I feel like I am actually not writing as much as I should with the general chaos, but I am gathering like a fiend, things that one day may be poems.