James B. Nicola, Pop Art

James B. Nicola

Pop is what corn does, simmering in oil,
when a little more heat’s applied, and time.

Pop’s what the gods do, shimmering in spring,
when a little more light’s applied, on time.

Pop is what art does, slathering on trends,
when a little pressure’s applied. In time

the butter, salt, and variegated flavors
convince a world it’s satisfied. The stomach’s
gurgles, near the lungs and heart, fool some
that our hearts have been filled—until the snack,

devoured and digested, finally is pooped
and turns to mulch, and a mysterious hunger
for greens and proteins makes me crave and wonder,
but wash the rancid pot still on the stove

so that tomorrow evening I might get
some nice art film to watch couch-bound at home
and make fresh popcorn, lightly salted, to feel
all newly-puffed and crunchy and delicious.

Author’s Comment: The idea of the final quatrain in “Pop Art” came after four drafts (over a ten-year period!), which then sparked an overhaul of the stanzas leading up to it. Both poems are from an evolving collection of Poems on Art and Artistry.

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