From Florida: here, I only want to write about the sun and the night sky—so many brilliant stars. But for years I’ve been writing about all issues, personal and historic, published widely. Teaching since early 70’s, I’ve been a “Dodge Poet” since 1986. Now, I’m proudly aware of turning 80: so I give myself permission to walk slowly for miles, staring at hibiscus and sky. I have 5 children and 7 grandchildren and live in Bloomfield, NJ under a weeping cherry tree. Recent collections: The Atheist’s Prayer(2010) and From the Viewing Stand (2011); 6 new poems currently appear online in Talisman #43 (Talismantoo@comcast.net)
T H E K L I M T P A I N T I N G S A R R I V E
Adele Bloch-Bauer I
Gustav Klimt - o/c - 1907
Gustav Klimt - o/c - 1907
Maria won the Klimt.
Is that the verb I meant?
She turned ninety and her aunt,
frozen in gold, came “home.”
Did Maria fight? Dedicated
against the government.
Maria would have kept the Klimts,
but Ronald S. Lauder, king of cosmetics,
zillionaire, her friend, helped put up
the fight and then
bought the spoils from dazed
Maria — and the cameras clicked
(and the auction doors closed).
Lauder gets to decorate his
rather new Neue Galarie with Klimts.
They say Klimt loved women,
painted them in gilt and brilliant silks
to dazzle. What does Maria think
about her aunt? And did her aunt
sleep with Gustav Klimt or
did she dress in azure and gold
cascades for society balls for fun
before the soldiers came? and
was her regal Jewish neck
such an object of contempt
that Nazis loved to suck her
off the walls? And Klimt —
his long gown down again —
did he perform for-
ever? Little old Maria,
childless, faltering, is proud
she won, I heard.
She’d worked hard all her life
as a saleslady in department stores
and has been proud of that. She always
held herself high, a cultured Viennese
lady of the old pre-Weimar school.
She’s flustered by these news events:
the biggest price in the world
135 million. Who can count
that high? Many of us had to stop
counting after we heard six million.
Maria, the niece, three worlds removed,
lives on a sunny L.A. street.
What did she think
when she saw her beautiful aunt framed,
lifted from the heavy packing crate,
and hung on the sunny Getty walls?
And where will she hang the Klimts
that Lauder didn’t buy
when they come down
to Maria’s little house?
Three Klimts have come to New York
at last. Maria, heiress, 90,
hasn’t revealed to the news
what she feels about her aunt Adele.
the painting of those
classy Viennese Jews
and today — two thousand and six —
when a very old lady wins a case
and the king of cosmetics
pays the highest-ever price
(the $135,000,000 mentioned before) —
a lot of story is lost.
We talk about auctions
and millions, about a tidy Fifth Avenue museum
and the very old Viennese who survived — we
admire the show and we gloat...
We’ve learned to leave
so much unsaid.
©2015 Madeline Tiger