In my rooms there were dark curtains
To hold the shades.
Waking to them each day was to remember Sophie ,
so sad and so pale, in her little blue housecoat.
. . .Every morning I sensed the hell inside their folds,
the brooding, dark impertinent umbers.
I knew that in their ripples lived the breathless, the contorted,
those who were vampires, or soldiers, here on earth.
It was melancholy to remember
but I remembered. . .
how, at the technical college, I learned the merest . . . distraction
. . . how to engineer, at arms length, a falsified, and falsifying world.
But illness was my angel .
For her I left school
to paint the darkness
that had swallowed my mother,
the volatility of color
at the edge of language,
the shrieking anguish
that envelopes each sigh,
in the recognition that our mortality
that we are awarenesses
that diminish finallyinto silence
and, like a father, that silence
carries with it
Never mind that
it hurt to be called ‘degenerate”
by little men in silk suits
strutting the big lie.
. . .Let them prate with their glories
and their empty briefs
amid the stylized draft horses
that decorate their plaza’s.
to live consciously the anguish
of the body,
to pour my losses
into the paint