Saturday Poem / Thinking about Warhol & Stein in a Northside Pittsburgh Garden
Stein was born nearby on Beech Avenue. Warhol, on the far-side of town ...
July 12, 2014 12:00 AM
Do you think Gertrude Stein would have liked
this garden, its cloistered & European vibe?
I believe Warhol would have liked the flowers,
how the glass glitters & repeats. Stein was born
nearby on Beech Avenue. Warhol, on the far-side
of town, no radio, no hot & cold running water.
It’s said that Warhol was shaped more by Shirley
Temple than Jackson Pollock. Stein had no use
for Hollywood. She was Rabelaisian in sandals
& velvet robes. Her brother Leo called her writing
godalmighty rubbish. Gertrude drove her old Ford
down the Champs Élysées & when she and Alice
fled to a little village, the villagers protected them.
Or as the mayor later told her, We knew you were old
& would not survive the camps. Warhol was his own
Do-It-Yourself Landscape behind wigs of electro-
platinum, as he exhaled, I am from nowhere.
She, of course, had a passion for sentences.
In my generation, I am the only one. What might
she have thought of his turbulence — in stillness,
the tincture of forbidden, his pentimento of petals?
— Joan E. Bauer
Joan E. Bauer is the author of “The Almost Sound of Drowning” (Main Street Rag). She has worked as a teacher and counselor and lives in Shadyside. With Jimmy Cvetic, she co-hosts and curates the Hemingway’s Summer Poetry Series in Oakland.
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