de Kooning Grotesque

by Carolyn Gelland

          “Beauty becomes petulant to me,” said de Kooning.
          “I like the grotesque. It’s more joyous. . . .

jackals cackling
haloes around their teeth,
forms somersaulting
inside zooscapes of rotten fruit,
popping nooses
that I look through
like a lorgnette:

this pair of flying buttocks,
these brutal
burlesquing legs
under a venomous
swish of skirt,
this parasite and zany of the stars,

ah, ah,
but to speak here of motherlove
is extravagant.