Abstract Magazine International | Smoke by Robert Rothman
Abstract seeks fine art in all forms that engages with both the crises and joys of our shared human condition. We seek art that engages the edge of now; we seek to explore a future forward zeitgeist with a respect for the gifts of the past. We are looking for both established and emerging artists across a broad range of genres. Our criterion is quality.


Smoke by Robert Rothman

15 Dec 2017, Posted by admin in Poetry

Art: Tropical Storm Clouds by Tobias Oggenfuss


Hazy in memory are the tendrils
Bending like long-stemmed irises from
My father’s cigarettes, billowing out
In great clouds of white steam from
Our fireplace at night, black and thick
As a ship’s furnace in the red brick
Incinerator at the back of my childhood yard.
Fading from sight the vaporous system of
Carbon-rich matter rising from
Flues and ducts: messages sent from house to house,
Loose kites with tails curling like cats in
Afternoon sleep and dissipating in white
Puffs scudding the blue sky, gathered
In airplanes writing advertisementslooping
Great curves that hang like placards until
Wind’s strong arm wipes the blackboard clean.
No longer the sugary smell of corn
Stubble burnt in hot embers at the edge
Of roads, great purple balls of sulfurous
Stink belched from factories, the acrid reach
Of tanneries bronzing the horizon,
The cloying sweetness of pigs roasted in
Dug-out pits, open burns spreading
Layers of rosemary and juniper
In a rainfall of invisible ash. 
I used to be like my boyhood dog in
Early morning, nostrils twitching in
Anticipation of the rich stew of
Smells, jaws slack to snap at the wispy
Figures floating by. Now my tail is
Flattened and I lie on the wool rug,
Eyes half closed, pawing at the past.

About the author: 

Robert Rothman lives in Northern California, near extensive trails and open space, with the Pacific Ocean over the hill. His work has appeared in the Atlanta Review, The Alembic, Existere, the Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, Westview, Willow Review and over fifty other literary journals. https://robertrothman.wordpress.com/.

Art:  Tropical Storm Clouds by Tobias Oggenfuss

In the artist’s words:

Tobias Oggenfuss is an artist in movement, metaphorically as well as physically, as he explores the kinetics of the world around himself. In effect, Oggenfuss is an integral part of the overall perpetual motion of atoms and electrons, the not so linear photons that reveal our world and universe. 

His images seemingly capture Earth’s rotation and that of the cosmos in a surrealist fashion, the deconstruction of our perceived environment and the challenging of our visual perception. 

Oggenfuss challenges the banal, thrusts the viewer into a warped reality that actually exists within our experiential comprehension and experiences; he questions and exposes our limitations: he reveals the known. But with the added questioning of the existing kinetics of known and non-charged particles, Oggenfuss simply creates reality-based representations of the ever-present surrealism that escapes us due to cultural experiences and precepts. 


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