Théophile Steinlen (1859-1923), "It Burns!"
Steinlen's Cats (1898)


"It burns!" cat waves its paw after touching
a cigar. Steinlen was the first to draw
multi-limbs in art to depict motion
before Balla's Dog & Duchamp's Nude.

20th century took off in a swirl—
Wright Brothers' first flight at Kitty Hawk,
Planck's quanta and Einstein's relativity
ushered in a new physics of space-time.

Richard Bucke wrote Cosmic Consciousness,
Picasso drew Les Desmoiselles d'Avignon,
Rilke's inseeing inspired his New Poems,
Stravinsky's Firebird rose from the ashes.

At midnight James Joyce knocked on A.E.'s door—
"Young man what do you want?" the poet asked.
"Highest state of consciousness" he replied—
and they talked past riverrun to bend of bay

                    Peter Y. Chou
                    Mountain View, 2-23-2011

Giacomo Balla (1871-1958)
Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash (1912)
Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY

Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968)
Nude Descending a Staircase #2 (1912)
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia