Recent Paintings
Edward POVEY Recent Paintings Oil and graphite on canvas
CONTRIVANCE
2019
Oil and graphite on canvas
60 x 48 in | 152.4 X 121.92 cm

Edward POVEY Recent Paintings Oil and graphite on canvas
CAPOTE'S YEAR
2019
Oil and graphite on canvas
12 x 12 in | 30.48 x 30.48 cm

A serpent walks in Venice, painting the alleys with rumor;
a young woman builds a small house beside her parents;
a mother sits apart on a coconut-strewn beach, her sons in the waves.

Somewhere below the diaphragm he feels their parallels
easing from year to year obsequiously below a slate sky,
wanting so much more than their beliefs can deliver.

The window frames are barely attached, the boys learn inexorably
in their shuttered bedrooms misted with cheap insecticides,
and relationships cling like cobwebs in gales.

Over the years he becomes imperceptibly smaller,
thrifty with effort against a gathering tide, listening always,
carefully and carefully working pallid colors into his diet.

Edward POVEY Recent Paintings Oil and graphite on canvas
A BELIEF IN BIRDS
2019
Oil and graphite on canvas
16 x 16 in | 40.64 x 40.64 cm

That we could have a firm belief
in the impossible, to live in a country
of flocking paper birds and herds
of clay antelope.

Only an absurdity if blue skies,
feathered sweethearts and soulful mammals
were credible, steaming at the water's edge
on bright cold mornings.

Edward POVEY Recent Paintings Oil on canvas
CROOKED LUTE
2018
Oil on canvas
30 x 30 inches | 76.20 x 76.20 cm

In a private collection

“When she finally sleeps it is time for him to silence the lute and arrange his feelings.
Slowly withdrawing a future, already known and already written,
he must live each day towards it - in peaceful ignorance of her fate.
These things of the future are not found in books or talked about over tea;
and one day his memory of her will be only her quiet and gentle breathing."

Edward POVEY Recent Paintings Oil and graphite on canvas
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
2019
Oil and graphite on canvas
12 x 12 in | 30.48 x 30.48 cm

Brow to brow on opposite sides of a wall
between dim rooms we pass thoughts and submerged images,
the half-light of ambivalence, lovers infatuated with singularity.

She moved across a room barely visible through reflections in the glass, appearing momentarily before I lost her again, and again.

Edward POVEY Recent Paintings Oil on canvas
OUT OF MIND
2018
Oil on canvas
16 x 16 inches / 40.64 x 40.64 cm

“Our certainty subsists on a starvation diet
of stage sets and mirages,
of white coats and stethoscopes
floating on a river of mortal dread.

While children are cartwheeling away, hopping,
whooping in the face of fear,
and grinning at their examples
- battening down for storms
as paper birds fly south with the pigs,
beyond sight, beyond mind.”

Edward POVEY Recent Paintings Oil and graphite on canvas
LIVING MEMORY
2019
Oil and graphite on canvas
12 x 12 in | 30.48 x 30.48 cm

Two girls walk together
diagonally across the park
in that open Fall light.

They have no memories,
coats boot-length, smiles turned in,
all the day ahead of them.

Edward POVEY Recent Paintings Oil on canvas
YESTERDAY’S FUTURE
2018
Oil on canvas
24 x 30 inches | 60.96 x 76.20 cm

“Born on the head of a pin,
they have the present: a narrow cot in which to live away their days.
And like Picasso’s old man lost in blue, they endlessly reach,
walking like ghosts in a street that is yet to come,
breathing in an airless place where the sun has never shone,
and darlings have never danced.

Why is this? Is the lute too sharp for them
and the air of the real world too cold?
Their days are all filled up with opportunity
and their veins with hot blood,
leaking into a dusty and silent hall of their own invention."

Edward POVEY Recent Paintings Oil and graphite on canvas
JONATHAN'S BIRDS
2019
Oil and graphite on canvas
12 x 12 in | 30.48 x 30.48 cm

The more I age the more they call me Mr. Pin Cushion,
and why can they not have found him in the arms of his lover,
his long heart rattling my arrogance?

A man approaching the house through the shadows
of a memory, sweet and hopeless.
A raft of hollow men drifting on a heavy swell of loss,
a generation of immigrants and orphans
stitched with kind longing.

But quarry tiles were the cool hand on his cheek,
posed perpetually running in the bed of his public stall.
Where is he now? His hands raised among the birds
as if in celebration, passing across streets that are ghosts of ours,
whilst I turn and angle this needle of regret deeper under my ribs,
smiling through the pain and wetness of his loss.

Edward POVEY Recent Paintings Oil on canvas
A BIRD IN THE HAND
2018
Oil on canvas
16 x 16 inches | 40.64 x 40.64 cm

"To cherish what is precious,
made of paper though it is.
What sweet music can come from nothing,
from a bird that is not a bird?
From a love that is not a love?
From a life that is not a life?
Such things save us anyway.

And children that we are,
if all our lemonade and puddings
were nothing but air and imagination,
would our lives be different?"

Edward POVEY Recent Paintings Oil and graphite on canvas
THE TRUE MASK
2019
Oil and graphite on canvas
12 x 12 in | 30.48 x 30.48 cm

Somewhere a translucent version of me
appearing now, fading now, audible and mute
wonders at the enduring fleshiness
crawling between years, damp and voluble,
the blood of oxygen and the stuttering
reception of light, improbably immortal.

Edward POVEY Recent Paintings Oil on canvas
LONG BEGINNING
2018
Oil on canvas
30 x 26 inches | 76.20 x 66.04 cm

“Her hand hangs limply off the turquoise pillow with its acidic lemon piping,
and somewhere in the basement of his mind he feels the distinct need
to hang his hand limply in reflection of hers.
One day he will have to do so many things for her.

Like a summer cat she watches him through a cracked eye,
distantly perhaps sensing everything that will occur beyond this room,
this room where the lute is quiet, and the children sleep in the adjoining chamber;
where the streets of Wales lay silent in snow outside,
and a cold wind breathes in the trench of the night.

For now her future remains caged, and they’re both blessed with a long beginning.”

Edward POVEY Recent Paintings Oil and graphite on canvas
SLEEPING THROUGH
2019
Oil and graphite on canvas
12 x 12 in | 30.48 x 30.48 cm

The long dreams of the living,
standing halfway between life and death’s hole
in a twilight of stark perception.

Breathing into a balance of the World of Consequences
and the World of Recklessness,
she frowns at the mess, reaching for her cup,
turning on the trench of the night,
climbing stairs in the wind, silent crowds trudging,
sighing into dawn on a room of grays and blues,
stammering on bends in the brakeless car.

And across coffee cups we convince our doubters
of a solid world of physics, all the time stretching across planes
in the dusk of the ephemeral.

Edward POVEY Recent Paintings Olin canvas
FERTILE PERSPECTIVE
2018
Olin canvas
16 x 16 in | 40.64 x 40.64 cm

Given so much breadth we walk in all the thin places,
longingly balancing only what is fragile,
and filling our night with long dark falls into nowhere.

But we’re shaped for this to our bones,
paying a fundamental debt to sheer possibility,
and calling it romance.

Posters of heroes, deified martyrs and unattainable beloveds
pass around our attention like smoke from an undiscovered fire
in a happy home.

Edward POVEY Recent Paintings Oil on canvas
WAITING FOR A CEREMONY
2018
Oil on canvas
28 x 26 inches | 71.21 x 66.04 cm

“If we could pause, and stretch a moment of reflection across the years,
caught only seconds before the ceremony - and held as if it would never come,
what awful moment would we choose?
Cutting the ribbon of time, entering rooms where old friends stand in frozen gestures,
glowing with the intensity of a conversation snipped like a phone line,
their voices hissing and dying down corridors where we walk alone, remembering.

For ever we would be the only living one at the table, the only one with a future:
the longing-drenched one-sided conversation of the fearful.”

Edward POVEY Recent Paintings Oil on canvas
IMAGINARY LUTE
2018
Oil on canvas
30 x 30 inches | 76.20 x 76.20 cm

“A girl on Poydras moves as if to hold the neck of an imaginary lute.
He dreams without focus, and the elderly Balthus poses another innocent in the tea room.
But anything can be done in this world of painting: a world which for all its lies,
is immortal. What would men give to purchase eternity!

In this land we see the hanging folds of the table cloth, and the ironed top also.
We see the sides of the cup, and we see into the cup also.
Like Cezanne longed to do, we can see everything simultaneously in this country of possibility,
where an imaginary lute can serenade imaginary sleepers forever."

Edward POVEY Recent Paintings Oil on canvas
ABACUS
2018
Oil on canvas
30 x 30 inches | 76.20 x 76.20 cm

Private collection

"Counting the hours in a world beside our world, a couple waits.
The table is laid, and everything is ready for a tea that will never occur,
and yet they have time to be with a future which they did not design,
and which they may as well allow.

However in the shadows, a newspaper speaks of a place of perpetual joy,
which was always the last sanctuary of the precious lodger in his arms."