Théophile Steinlen (1859-1923), "It Burns!"
Des Chats (1898), Steinlen Cats (1980)


"It burns! It burns!" cat waves its paw after
touching a cigar. Steinlen, first to draw
blurring of limbs in art to show motion
before Balla's Dog & Duchamp's Nude

descending to join those at d'Avignon
in free dance, firebird bursts in flame whirling
flying into the new life, quanta of space-time,
wireless dreams in stream of consciousness.

Did the Sun take its children across
the Milky Way to a darkness shining in
which none could comprehend?
The Archer's flow of arrows wakes him up

at midnight to knock on a poet's door—
"What is it that you want?" the elder asks.
"Highest state of consciousness" he says—
and they sail 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