Wednesday, December 2, 2015

December 2 -- Mel Goldberg

Poem based on Van Gogh’s Self-Portrait with Straw Hat, 1887

focus on the eyes
they look fearfully askance
a mask of pain
a trapped animal looking for a way out
a yellow hat over auburn hair and deep depression

he returns to his room 
from the bar where he drinks absinthe
and falls in love with yellow
nibbling paint chips
and sees the halos 
around the stars at night 

He shaves
the ragged edges of his rusty beard
and hears a voice commanding him
to kill Gauguin
he maims himself instead.

“I did not kill myself, 
I still had canvasses to paint
It is not the language of art 
but the language of nature 
which one should listen to.”

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