Shooting Picture – by Lois Marie Harrod

after Niki de Saint Falle’s Tirs

Are we talking Winslow Homer’s
downed ducks or Niki de Saint Falle’s
paint-filled polyethelene bags
embedded in plaster, ready for Robert Rauschenberg
and Jasper Johns to take a shot?

You can see the hand nearing
the canvas, add this, five, six blasts,
tachisme, then the smearing,
Gerhard Richter taking a huge trowel,
a blade really, screwing the whole picture.

Potshot, swatch, the eye is still the problem,
the way it can’t see whole, just bits of bits,
how brushstrokes, bangs and volleys
disappear when you pull back
from Newark, Berkeley, Baltimore
Ferguson, your own Trenton.

It’s important, isn’t it,
that truth be known early,
before rumors and rumors of rumors—
see those oranges dismiss the blue,
go now, go, nunc dimittis.
Bring in the guard to bring in the peace.
Bring in the report of this report.

Lois Marie Harrod’s 16th and most recent collection Nightmares of the Minor Poet appeared in June 2016 from Five Oaks. She is continually published in literary journals and online ezines from American Poetry Review to Zone 3. Visit her online work at

Photographer’s Note: Although I couldn’t replicate the artwork in this poem, I felt the photo at this captures a bit of the spirit of the artist.