Word Canvases

Word Canvases

By Donald Kolberg

Sometimes I just need to sit back and reflect. This seems to be when word canvases get created


Each line a sacrifice to the ambiguous absence that is the surface,
Abandoning each mark to the perceptions of doer and viewer.
I’m left with the inability to retract any thoughts,
Any conscious gesture, as the equilibrium of the surface shifts.
So now I walk the surface, justifying the identity I’ve given this void,
Measuring the distance to its depth with a dissecting line.
A visual language, a thought
at the moment where it makes itself an advent of sense.


Naked, stark
Crisp emptiness starring at me
A canvas,
Oblivious to its ambiguity.
Is it a weight pressing down
On my easel
Or like the atmosphere of a landscape
Airy and floating.
And now with a mark on its surface
A path to or from some significant spot
Or have I separated the parts
Pressing each against the other.
Hoping to create the necessary balance
To complete the view.

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