Sarah Mangold

Painting Understands Its Scientific Aspirations

(for Hilma af Klint)

your eyes animal

blue maniac

law black to light

a superstition

I might render

to a small point
flowers everywhere

manifest incantation

mandelblomma bla

mandelblomma vit

mandelblomma orang

mandelblomma lila

As No Color Can be Considered Stationary

(after Wittgenstein’s Remarks On Colour)

A glow seems at once to breathe towards us

register the trace of its making
an impossible historical burden

the general unavailability of trade names
necessity and suitableness

of such conventional language
report whether a certain body

is lighter or darker than another
women in harmony with scenery

unceasingly aspire for rooms
to live in constantly

Serpent Green, Baby Blue,
New Old Rose, London Smoke,

Ashes of Rose & Elephants Breath

[Dear Hilma,]

I do not mean to make scientific inquiry into them. You are given of every molecule. Sunshine. Frozen lake. Below ourselves we can feel the tools. Symbols of mathematicians. Of the grass phrase rippling gladness. Liquid to atom. Atom to electron. But I am not my nature. We are haunted by the word reality. Sparkling waves scurrying intention.

[Dear Hilma,]

I want to write to you on a sheet of pink. Wanting pink to call you Hilma. I have something to say and limited time. Pink corners of conversation. Starting point 00 00.

The Contiguous Edges Perform in the Phenomenon     

(for Hilma af Klint)

The reluctant translator marks a way of relating

to margins She develops an ability to behold
a great devotion to navigation Let it not be

supposed that in this unfolding A mild
feeling of love abstracts to a single color

Bodies magnified for investigation
An unrecognized stranger between hydrogen

helium Letters given help the reader
trace upwards Dots indicate lines along

which force is observed Blue stripe beside
an orange stripe Her attentiveness to

emotion astronomical and marine
Incline to indigo Incline to violet

Incline to green

Sarah Mangold is a NEA fellow and the author of three books of poetry: Giraffes of Devotion (Kore Press), Electrical Theories of Femininity (Black Radish), and Household Mechanics (New Issues, selected by C.D. Wright). She lives near Seattle and is currently working on a book of poems about the Swedish artist Hilma af Klint.