Body Artiste & Studio Vogue 1970. Poems By Sterling Warner

Body Artiste

Brandy called herself an empty easel
ready to strip down naked and take on
primary colors, a blank canvass eager
to display artistic genius & mutable
good taste as her flesh took on hues
any rainbow might envy & satisfied
a young boy’s locker room fantasy.

Daybreak till twilight, artists illustrated
Brandy’s skin; she posed for photos,
sent them into cyberspace & reveled
in notoriety that left her wanting, longing
for lustrous fulfillment as someone’s
magnum opus, satisfaction in spirit
only complete when stroked by a brush.

Studio Vogue 1970

Vinyl record albums stacked facedown

            like semi-glossy square decks of cards

feebly served as trendy apartment bookends

            supporting a motley assortment

of leather bound & paperback texts.


A discarded telephone wire spool, my

            hip coffee table, that looked like

a Brobdingnag sewing bobbin, showcased

            artbooks ranging from Frida Kahlo’s symbolism

& Michelangelo’s sculptures to Dali’s surrealism.


Lovers and I watched our youthful bodies

            roll with an undulating waterbed tide

through a full-length plastic mirror

            nailed like a crucifix above us

before we sank to the liquid mattress’s center.


Days and nights we once seemed to own

            fell victim to infrequency’s impact

on intimate moments: the paucity

            of cheap thrills, my dated studio décor, 

An award-winning author, poet, and educator, Sterling Warner’s works have appeared in literary magazines, journals, and anthologies including Danse Macabre, Poetry Life and Times, Shot Glass Journal, Ekphrastic Review, and Sparks of Calliope. Warner’s collections of poetry include Rags and Feathers, Without Wheels, ShadowCat, Edges, Memento Mori: A Chapbook Redux, Serpent’s Tooth, and Flytraps (2022)—as well as Masques: Flash Fiction & Short Stories. Currently, Warner writes, participates in “virtual” poetry readings, and enjoys retirement in Washington. Author/Sterling-Warner

Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at ; You may visit Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)


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