Lumia by Nick Admussen

lumia

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18 Pages

Winged City Press

2013

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Review by: Diane Sahms-Guarnieri

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“Lumia” according to Thomas Wilfred is a general term for “the art of light.” Nick Admussen’s, Watching Lumia, an 18 page ekphrastic poem, was inspired by Wilfred’s “Untitled,” Opus 161, 1965/66 and “Luccata,” Opus 162, 1967/68, which Admussen credits in the “Introduction.”  Apparently, Amussen did his best to see as much as he could of Opus 161 in its 22 month presentation at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art by sitting in front of its waving and changing patterns of light —

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Watching Lumia, this rising/ at a constant speed which should look mechanical / but seems instead like a soul ascending.
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To Admussen “a soul ascending” is just one of the many clever and creative images/metaphors dancing their myriad colors through changing movements of light “of one squinting transfixed into light.”
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His poetic use of color: Vanilla and coal, blueberry…orange sorbet and stolen ivory, / urine and bloody fog, a sun-colored lemon…
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  …the color of gas-station / power and sweet: sour twist, oil-dark, cherry.
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 And now the first green / in a long time / glides in like a second hand…
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Throughout this poem, there are many different images gliding into and out of focus – like a camera lens, focusing and unfocusing, capturing the art of light as changing images within light:
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The axe handle, / the bird, the message to God, / the hook, the heart’s procession, 
the lesson about drifting, and the universe from afar / all warm themselves in light.
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Another dreamy segment, a young crocus flute up around its starry axis, and another as he drowses and wakes  …the flowers rioting open every year / like they’re the first on earth. / A small man with a cup in his hands/ in aquamarine holds the cup out/ and rotates in a semicircle, offering it / to all assembled.
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Admussen’s perception of images: seeing of, into, around, and through the ever changing images and movement of colors sometimes brings apprehension and even fear during his “680 day” quest.    Imagine how arduous a task, how disciplined his observations of watching light change in front of him, as he – himself- is being changed by ever passing time that flows into, around, and through him.
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…perhaps I have been / inside too long, I may have forgotten, art that moves through time exhausts/and frightens, are these / spines or waves…
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…that the Lumia turns frightening. / A blood cow looks down at me and lows, / the woman reaches out of a dark river. 
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…Lumia shows / a hooked dagger endlessly drawn /from a wound, which pursues it.  / I know that this is just one light – /which means there is no body / and no knife in it, just a body /with a knife in it, no art and / me watching, but an art with / me watching, an art of me watching.  Light on light: / other light.
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There are humor and query, yes, the “Question of the Door?”
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There is a machine behind the glass; / a gray door with an obviously flimsy lock / leads to the machine. I see the light / and not the Lumia, I mean the mechanism…
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Can you meet me here, no. / Actually yes….you can come sit in front of Lumia where I sit. Wear jeans and a solid color T-shirt.  Repeatedly replace your $15.00 sneakers / because your feet hurt because / you’re getting old.
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It sounds like a refrigerator, a good one.
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The machine of Lumia is a satellite / ringed with mirrors and crownedin a swirl / of iron tendrils: behind it, a lamp / and a color wheel, a three-fingered arm / that raises and lowers to uncertain purpose. 
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A blown stage-lamp rest inert. Below, another shines constantly, deep in the cabinet. Everywhere the wires and lines / of ancient electricity …
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Nick Admussen’s ekphrastic poem is beautifully written and wonderfully entertaining, the way Wilfred’s Opuses were in the early to mid-1900s, and thanks to Eugene Epstein’s restorations of the remaining apparatus/instruments viewers may have an opportunity to visit a museum in their area for a closer look, or one can get a quick minute feel on YouTube of “Untitled” Opus 161 at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqb88gdCM4Q.  (Note: If you really like what you’re are seeing and want to view Wilfred’s“Untitled” Opus 161 in a slide show go to: http://www.clavilux.org/op161/slideshow.swf .  “The animation, featured here, is a Flash based ‘movie’ made up of 30 still images taken from Wilfred’s Opus 161., and produced for us by the Pompidou Centre, Paris.”)

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You can buy the book here: http://www.wingedcitypress.com/2013/01/paypal-safer-easier-way-to-pay-online.html

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Diane Sahms-Guarnieri where the Lehigh meets the Delaware River

– Diane Sahms-Guarnieri is the Poetry Editor of The Fox Chase Review 

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