I Think of You In That Final Moment: A Poem to Van Gogh

Dutchman- you, with the orange beard
standing with your palette and brush
like a supplicating Jesus; a God
in a golden field.

Do you see them?
A murder of crows flying
out of thick brushstrokes of wheat
raining dark feathers, teardrops,
soaking your sunflowers.

Lift your eyes, profit painter,
you’re a bleeding heart, literally, bleeding
red drops whipped and splattered,
like a Pollock painting.

No money for starry nights spent in night cafes;
so lonely, man, so alone, and look at you
waking early to watch the harvest women,
bending their round bodies
over rows of crimson and purple grapes.

There’s madness in your trees, in your lavender lilies, in
your wounded ear. Madness!
Where’s your love? I’ll tell you:
It’s there relentlessly crying
in empty rooms. Puddles of ink.

Poor lonely son, more wanted in death
than life. I think of you in that last moment;
I’ve sat with you.
You, a single golden wheat,
smoke curling at your heart,
vermillion dripping at your feet.

The Last Painting

This is still an early draft of a poem I’m working on. I can’t seem to grasp what I’m trying to capture or how to say what I want. The poem at this point is visually interesting and uses many references to actual paintings, but there is a disconnect in this version. Who is talking and who are they talking to and why? These are the questions I still have around this poem. Why is it so important to write it, why not throw it out and move onto something else? Another question.

Fixed like a Japanese etching; He sat alone in his blue
painted room. In the smallest corner, a yellow bed frame.
one pale chair turned out waiting for a guest- any guest
perhaps another painter?
He wrote letters: “Dear brother, dear sister
they do not see what I see.
They do not see what I am showing them.”

In the wheat field crows
gathered around the lonely scarecrow.
Dutch, with an orange beard
a palette in one hand, a brush in the other
supplicating in a blue smock.

He painted thick strokes of yellow wheat.
Ocean blue sky, and a road
long, bending, and coming to an end.
Where are they going?
They had sat on his easel and cawed at his brushstroke.
They scatter like dark clouds spreading news.
The gunshot? Did he paint the expectation of sound?

They flew.
They are
still flying,
all of them,
from painting
to painting-

Over his yellow fields of golden sunflowers;
swirling starry nights;
past the harvest women
and their round full bodies bent
over rows of crimson and purple grapes.
Perched atop his maddened trees
soared over lavender lilies, and
 picked through tactile gardens.

Once the shot was fired they 
drank in his night cafes.
Poured one out for the fallen artist.
Triste! Triste! Caw! Caw!
A TOAST to an artist! CAW!
The crows the murderous ravens.

They love him now.
They covet him, now,
tour his history, now,
his home, his life, his pain.
They understand him now.
In life they never once 
to touch his dark wounded face.

He must have,
before that moment,
silently swayed 
peacefully as golden wheat. His quartered ear
covered by orange hair the color of
a monk’s robe. Smoke at his heart, vermillion at his feet.

Van Gogh Celebrity Painter

( I’ve been working on a poem centered around Van Gogh’s painting The Wheatfield and the Crows. It is possibly his last painting before he shot himself. I’ve also been thinking about the cult of celebrity and criticism and how it has destroyed many artists who struggled to make ends meet when they were alive, but in death their art became worth millions to those who had originally criticized.) This is just one sketch our outlined idea.

It begins with him painting.
Alone in the golden wheat.
Dark birds dot the sky;
they are not vultures
they are crows
they are critics.

They are flying wildly.
Why are they flying?
Away from the sound

The birds scatter
over all of his paintings,
all of his influences,
all of his colors.

He is like a useless scarecrow
the vermilion spilling,
He sways.

Artist You die, and
they love you now,
but never while
you were alive.

Blondie and The Six year old

This is very much a work in progress. I’m not sure how I want the stanza or the mood or anything for that matter. I was doing some imagery exercises and this game out of that, but there is a lot of work to be done on it.

Almost midnight,
Ten minutes till the Debbie Harry Interview.
mother is in bed
pressed against the boyfriend,
the one with the black beard, like a pirate’s.

The living room, my new bedroom,
holds the key to my mistress of music.
I crawl from the sheets, flannel,
pj’s spark blue and crack,
soft palms press against tweed plaid
couch, hard and rough on my skin,
but I’m young I can handle the couch.

White ghost feet, toes spread
to slip into the brown shag carpet
like sand slipping between my toes
and to my knees and hands
as silent as a cat on the
kitchen counter, I crawl
breathless to the black stereo.

The record player with the Am/FM radio.
I pinch the dial and carefully,
slowly, slowly,
turn the black metal knob.
The click is like bones cracking
and the rooms echos
like a scream into a cavern.
I lie still listening
to the sounds in the next
New boyfriend does not
find my behaviors cute
and does not spare the rod, but she is worth it.
Crickets orchestrate classical melodies from behind
sealed glass, but there is no other sound except the exhalation of the house and my breath.

I slide closer to the speaker,
the hiss and crack of airwaves
tickle the hairs in my ear
as I press my cheek into the
soft but scratchy fabric that
stretches like a band over the
speaker. It is like a seal that
separates her from me.
I know if I could peel back the fabric and climb inside that I
would fall into the studio, like
Alice fell into the rabbit hole,
I would fall to her white pumps
and she would kneel down to
smile at me
her platinum blonde shag
falling about her delicate cheekbones.
“Why hello. I’m Debra Harry. Aren’t you up
way past your bedtime?”

I close my eyes at the first sound of her voice
and fall asleep like
a content serpent around a hot stone.