Joseph Finkleman Artist



(Part one of  nine ;an opera for one)


Moments before the chasm

Is crossed

Moments before the first stroke

is put to me.

I’m not clean, I’m not pure

I’m no virgin

but I’m unmarked

endless possibilities

course through my veins

I’m about to become

become but not be

since I already am.  (62)


I’m woven of forest and river flax

I’m carnal ,seductive

I am intimate with knowledge and pretense

I am the artist’s nightmare. (34)


I am the plate

that the leavings are left upon.

I am all of the dreams

I am all of the visions

I am the hopes

The fears

His lies

And I  am his love

That leaves my white radiance

stained.  (46)



The Blank Page Speaks

(Part two of  nine ;an opera for one)


My hope is an audience

for that partially shuttered song

that pierces my solitude

I have hopes and  dreams (26)


The blue of the air slipping through my window

rests on the table where I rest

carrying the perfumes of ideas from the

walkways of exotic lands (37)


swirling like dust in rivers of misremembered

moments of regrets and lies

like lullabies in darkened rooms

where the music from closets carefully

sealed from the light

from sight

from me

fill my sleepy ears (51)





The Blank Page Dreams

(Part three of  nine ;an opera for one)


I want to love you beautifully

As if I could be beautiful

If only I could love your perfection

with all of my passion (35)


I dreamed to hear these words

I would dream of beauty

Too perfect to see (17)


See my arched neck?

I preen myself

with pride

the prow of my breast

leaves a wake

of my lovers behind  me

my wanton vent

wild with passion

smears the spume

of moon-smoke

of glitter

across the sun-swept wind

of my passage (52)


But now I cannot even see you

My eyes scratch in my throat

Caught on the words

That you cannot write (25)



The Blank Page writes her own song (Part one)

(Part four of nine ;an opera for one)


He pushed me here

He poked, he prodded

Pulled to this place at the edge of the world

Abandoned, washed by uncaring waters

Placed here in exile  (34)


With the one wish granted to you

You desired me to be turned to stone

Held at the edge of the abyss

Balanced between this world

Neither earth nor water nor sky (39)


I cannot even see the setting sun

Or feel the weight of the world

Suspended as I am

Between the time when you loved me

And the moment when you stopped. (38)




The Blank Page writes her own song (part two)

(Part five of nine ;an opera for one)



Once you flowed with passion

and I loved you

once you flowed as molten rock

like the  volcano under pressure

bursting through boundaries

of thought and heart (35)


Now I am like the shadow

Living in-between rivers of brightness

Desiring passage

And knowing that for a shadow

The light brings my death

Still I yearn for the creation from the void

That passage that divides heavens immortality

And my own brief moment (64)


See the glow in the hollow of my neck?

Hear the wild cries of my abandon?

As I glide through the trees

Petals fall

As each petal falls

A star appears

Behind me

The universe is born

The mystery approaches  (52)




The Blank Page Writes her own song (Part three)

(Part six of nine ;an opera for one)


I want to be like that wild girl

flying low over the earth

not like the birds

serious raptors tearing my flesh

nor bright chattering creatures gossiping endlessly

rather I want to be like one big eye shot from the mouth of power (56)


I want to be those points of light in a deaf darkness

listening to wisdom in crumbling shells (23)


I want to be under the shadows of a triple star

I want to be the lamp that rends the void in tatters

from the sphere of the moon to the heavens above (38)


I want to reveal secret messages

picture words that work under your eyes

that gaze through the mist

searching for small sounds that whisper under your ears (35)




The Blank Page Writes her own song (Part four)

(Part seven of  nine ;an opera for one)


From the eternal mystery

from deep inside the breath of a dying star

the dance of the spheres

became music and I opened my throat

this heat sailing out of tree darkness

limb bent into the merging green earth

root twisted stem of the sun singing

brown burnt bruise upon flushed flesh

where leaf color blushes into the sun’s light

a softness touched to vine deep sleep

where dreams reveal

naked skin of the endless changing

where I am the pale fruit within the heart of its name

myself the frail meat upon the bone




The Blank Page gives her Gift to the artist

((Part eight of nine ;an opera for one)


There is no need for performance

There is no applause at the  end of the world

Let the little bird come to you

And love with your love


The rain falls like pebbles scattered

Across the bed of water

This mattress of trees and ferns

With coiled springs of shoots

Green spikes suitable

For what you are


Perfume like pepper deep in the nose

Frequent tufts of green angel hair fern

Come to me with your love

And dance

The spring light

Reading your face




The Blank Page Marries the Artist

(Part nine of nine ;an opera for one)


I say nothing to you and as it grew it pushed

us apart

your eyes glowed in the indistinct light

the breath of life flowed

and your lips parted


you can write anything


the void was formed from order

and vision dissolved under the face of the eternal


Staring through the light

giving strength to the thickness of lights

staring from all of that

that is above

until the vessel was full

and couldn’t hold

and all that had been given light was revealed


This is the gift of the story