The Gaze (Work in Progress)

Gazing at the gaze…

Foxy Brown’s Fox Boogie!

Marcel Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase

Françoise Nielly Les Diaboliques

Hopper’s Rooms by the Sea

Sergio Davanzo’s Pittore ~ Sonnet 18…

Arne Quinze The Sequence Brussels

Marco Perego’s Talk Is Cheap...

Kehinde Wiley Officer of the Hussars…

Kal Gajoum Piccadilly Traffic…

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water House

Domingo Zapata’s 11 Minutes Exhibit…

Picasso’s Les-Demoiselles d’Avignon

Kent Bellows Gluttony Self-Portrait…

Thomas Saliot Close Up Water

Bansky Warhol Basquiat...

Gentileschi Bourgeois O’Keefe

What was she thinking?

To see her muse

To be her muse

It is not enough to gaze at the gaze

How did he feel?

What did she say?

I cannot simply be a spectator in a cheap seat

or, a participant on a glancing spree

I imagine her backing away

Viola!  A masterpiece!

A glass of wine

A bottle of wine

A toast

Apollo 13*

It’s over


Some ritual

Dirty paint

A bath

A bird in the fist

A shout

A sandwich

Sex on Fragonard’s swing

with fiddles and strings,

and Citizen Cope,

Sublimated and subliminal guilt

Sin and complicated insanity


Let yourself out!

I have a canvas to make,

a gaze to paint

Red red red.


Copyright 2014 by E Maria Shelton Speller. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

*Maggie’s Farm

Brianna Perry’s Marilyn Monroe



The Orange Line II

On the Orange Line

some carried

boom boxes like briefcases

babies like groceries

and stout little bottles

like bibles

protected inside brown bags

from thumping


It’s about what people do

and what people say

On the Orange Line


On the Orange Line

I can see Michelangelo’s innerness

like the monk

the anonymous critic

who said, “The David”

is a homoerotic composition

a platonic love for the male body

that approaches erotic dimensions


On the Orange Line

with so little movement

on this human-scape

Clean and safe

inside the rubber doors

deliberately close to the gallows

David wanted out of his dirty world


When he described the disorder

Giovanni built cathedrals on his back

and rose windows with his hands for him

On the Orange Line


On the Orange Line

My father looked at me

like Noah looked at Ham

when Ham looked at Noah

as if he did something

ungodly and unplatonic

to him


In love so completely ruptured

Ham tried to stay

the flow of blood

with women too beautiful

for proverbs


Their eyes were

divining rods

for sex and dreaming

On the Orange Line


On the Orange Line

They beat him down on the threshing floor

he was too beautiful for words

They gave him something to cry about

and like the Egyptians

they sodomized him in turn


For the sake of the Orange Line

they made him their little boy

For the sake of the Orange Line


On the Orange Line

The housenegro in church on Sunday

said nothing about who would

be bought and

who would be sold

on the auction block tomorrow

and no one asked, and no one told…


What do you do when your enemy

goes to the same church you go to?


On the Orange Line

without room for rapture

or space for rape

I rested my stop on

my fingers

and the mad boy

the made boy

came on


Political obscenities abound!

The Million Women March

will reproduce

the matriarchal society

and transform it into what ~

new and improved Black Madonnas?

The Million Women March


the Million Man March

without the benefit of prudence


When the Million Man March

goes down in history

as an epic tragedy

you have facilitated

the perpetuation

of the sacrificial black woman


You risk the future

of born and unborn children

for generations to come

Duplicating unwise

and circumscribed politics


The fat lady is singing again

But this is not a corner stoop

in Harlem

and she is far too milky

to anticipate the social

and political implications

of a Million Women March


You cannot answer my questions

without trying to suckle me!


This is what I am afraid of…

Keep your blouse on!

Your ample bosom

is an integral

part of the problem

~ not the solution!


Do the black man a favor

take his body down

beat your heart

weep and wash his feet

wrap him in fine linen

and cover him with spices

Maybe if you mourn him

you can resurrect him

He might make an appearance again


Not only did the Black Madonna

leave him on the cross

she won’t take him down

Take him off the cross now!

Everyone else has

Maybe you like the view

from the ground


We are beyond Brown and Newton

we’re on fallacious arguments now

Where are you going

other than the ground

On the Orange Line?


On the Orange Line

I saw dog paws

tattooed on her thigh

and red daisies

on her boots

My prism came from


and landed on my skin


In random chimera conceits

I think

of blue nights and black mornings

The full moon in the white Winter sky

with pink Cirrus lips

demons and febrile mouths

Rimbaud, and blackbirds in epic simile

Squirrels that wait for green lights


and white girls

on billboards

on black streets


And the mad boy sung

“Ooh day Ooh day….

You got me humpin’…”


On the Orange Line

The station point

where esoteric beginnings

are setups

for sublime endings

Copyright 2004 by E Maria Shelton Speller, Explode.  All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


The Orange Line is inspired by The Last Poets’ On The Subway









Draped over flesh folding,

Overlapping, lapping, titties like water


Coursing over plantations

landing on designer gods


She’s the Queen of make believe

dross, lace, and fancies

the strumpet of style and envy

supply and demand

framing references

of fragmentation and icons

the whore of big business

luxury and privilege

Capital Supreme


She gives it to you every time

the same kiss same trade

whispering buy me

while you sit splayed still

eating her conditions

wanting more between



An electric whore transfixed on fiction

screaming paeans of promises

in fleeting imagery faster than you can think


Candle eyes revealing

nothing and something equally

commercial bitch

coca cola coochie


The queen of white hot dreams and fantasies

Dreaming the business of culture

for recycled cyclical people

in suspended disbelief


Chronos’ eating children again

consuming – regurgitating

the piss Ellison smelled in the hallway

the blood he saw at the top of the stairs

of the worn unfresh and rotted

postmodern prostitute

circumscribing your will to dream

someone you


White voodoo yahoo

looping tricks for

fifteen pimps


Coliseum dreamers

in concert muffle

the scream


Hegemony is a bore!

Capitalism is a whore!

Patriarchy is a sham!

Subjugation is complete!

You can’t dream for me…


Children of the light!

dreaming in strophe

what she dreams

what she thinks

what she wants you to need

what she wants you to buy

when to laugh


what to eat and how often

who to love


how to suffer

on her terms


Dreamers of the light!

dancing for the gods

in collective nothingness

tweaked to think vapid

celebrated center-folds

of flagrancy at your expense

dare to dream

alone in dark energy


Turn off the lights

of the Queen of white hot fantasies

in unsuspended disbelief


Let’s make believe!

The Sirens’ in the room

and you applaud

on your knees

Give props to the Queen

of postmodern dreams

of white white-white hot trips

on Lilly fields designed

for you to dance

for the gods

pimping their dreams of her… and them

on wide screen… for you


Kill your TV!


Copyright 2004, 2015 by  E Maria Shelton Speller.  All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


My Condolences

Dear Jon,

I am so sorry to hear about Victor.  I’m lousy at expressing condolence.

I am anticipating a phone call about one of my brothers or sisters – essentially a family member that I have grown to dislike or they dislike me – no matter how close we were when we were children.  A call about a family member who began and ended references about me with, “What is she doing now?”  I perplex them with all my projects and shenanigans.  A family member who could not possibly appreciate the personality of an INTJ – confusing alone with loneliness.

At the end of the day, it is not about me.  When we go home — family puts us to rest.  Not your BFFs, your hundreds and thousands of FB friends who like everything you like, your brothers and sisters from another mother and father, your innumerable half-sisters, half-brothers and cousins who were not there when you were growing up – but somehow you were twins, random shopkeepers at spas who talk to your baby in mandarin — your baby hangs on every word and seems to understand, not the concierges, your neighbors, coworkers, managers, bishops or priests.  Your family puts you in the ground.

Your family makes sure you are wearing your favorite shoes, that you are wearing a whole and not a half-slip – even though you have never owned a whole slip.  Why?  Because it’s regulation, it’s mandated by the State!  Your family makes sure you are wearing your shade of lipstick, and the wig on your head is straight, the part is in the right place and despite the protestations of the mortician, the bangs are swept wistfully in the right direction.  Your friends give you brand new bibles to take to the pearly gates. Your family settles your estate — if you have one — cleans your home, takes possession of or finds a good will or thrift store for your belongings.

Oh, your friends will offer their condolences, show up for the funeral, sign the guest book, send a sympathy basket, donate to a charity, ask if there is anything they can do, say pretty thoughtful things about you, go to the repast – and that will be the end of it.  The last time you see them.  Your BFFs are not going to your gravesite to leave flowers on milestones and Christmas.  No.

That is what family is for.  The family you perhaps did not respect, did not value, and could not abide because you were not equally yoked.  Yes, I am waiting on that phone call, that text – so I can put that family member to rest, take my turn at the podium and say, “I anticipated a phone call about one of my brothers or sisters, because apparently this is what family is for…”

I am glad the call was not about you!  I would not have been able to write this letter with a steady hand.  Perhaps you might share it with your family.  It was oddly salubrious.  RIP Donnie “S”.

All the Best,


Copyright 2014 E Maria Shelton Speller.  All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.