Wednesday, June 29, 2022


 Van Gogh

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.

Every color

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.