Outside the sun wallows and swoons. She is like a woman in love, radiant and docile. Her golden headdress drops feathers to the ground. Feathers which the shadows with their infinite recesses fold into themselves for safe-keeping.
The mud cracks in a way that is vaguely sinister and fantastically human. If I look long enough I will find the face of someone ancient and famous who embodies humanity more in death than most of us do in life.
There is a carnival of flowers dancing around my ankles. There is heat in my body and seagulls shrieking as they swoop dangerously close to my head. I leave them all behind and go inside. Once inside I turn cold and cavernous. I am waiting for an excuse to write so I clean the drain and put on the water full blast and watch everything fall into darkness.
I smell of wool and dried sweat. The window is looking in on me without reservation or pretense. The sky is supple and blue. I want to climb into it and lie down as if it were a lake that I could breathe inside.
Today I visited the home of a painter who became a writer who dreamt of being a painter. I found her words more beautiful then her still lifes and portraits. Her paintings were mechanical. She wrote under a pseudonym but there was more of her in print.
I went home with a postcard of the artist herself not one she had painted but one taken of her in Paris. In the photograph she looks like she wants to crawl out of her skin, like she’s felt everything at least once and has decided that she wants to go on living only she can’t quite bring herself to live the life she really wants. She was phenomenally strong and phenomenally patient and when I look at her I see a person who is both resigned to a life of fire and anonymity, a life of compromise and incessant wanderings.
When I left the museum I realized that it doesn’t matter what you pursue because pursuing anything is still a voluntary act of creation. There is the sun and the moon and a sky full of ceaseless fish with scales that reflect like mirrors all the brightness and vastness which exists in each of us whatever shape our dreams assume.
PS I did like the painting she created of her husband, by far the most expressive
7 thoughts on “The Artist”
The poem is sweet but long
Like the long rambling poems of my youth 😂. I think I have held off too long writing but I like some bits.
I think this is great – but do you think it might work better as prose? I find the line breaks a bit disconnecting and I can’t really see what they achieve. As prose, on the other hand, it flows beautifully.
Yes I had actually thought to write it as prose originally. I will look at rearranging the formatting.
Keep in mind, of course, that this advice comes from somebody generally acknowledged as one of the worst poets on the planet and in the bottom percentile of prose writers …..
I enjoyed the imagery and the comparisons, the metaphors for your interpretation and description of events. Although, as others stated, the poem could perhaps be consumed better if it was translated to a prosaic piece, I do not mind the length and thematic at all.
Thank you I thought I would have a chance to change it into prose but I haven’t, maybe tomorrow. I am working on revamping MLMM. I have some new ideas and I am excited. It is time to make some dreams come true haha