At the Van Gogh exhibit she
Turned to me and asked why
All the great artists seemed to succumb
To madness or suicide.
Bruised swaths of despair swirled
And looped into skies of trembling flesh.
I saw that her forehead had coiled
Yellow into a writhing full moon.
Everything was vibratingly alive,
Walls melting into the floor
And I was now part of a screen
Where everything played out.
all the forms
that Thom Yorke song
I recalled the dive bar
Packed with squinty-eyed derelicts
In scuffed boots and flannel shirts
Where we’d stopped for a cheap drink.
We felt like interlopers
Trespassing on burial grounds
Traipsing around in the frontier slivered
Between debasement and transcendence
Between the broken and the healed
The limp and the lame
The sadness and acceptance
The imagined and the real
I whispered back that some whorled
Souls experienced the world
Exactly the way the Creator
Had always intended
But the world pushed back
And made them feel weird,
Taught them to believe such
Whirling visions were things to be feared.