Three laments for
- 1. Theo
- Brother, I said,
- you look too close, too long,
- sunblinded for yellow. But
- I could only stand by
- while he painted with dumb fury:
- chrome yellow, citron yellow, ochre
- Wheat, corn, grass. Everything.
- Houseyellow bookyellow chairyellow.
- A fever of yellow
- a burning sulphur summer.
- Wild brush-strokes
- huge flower-suns
- weighted with his own hearts cry:
- probing beyond yellow to light
- Unshielded, challenging the very source,
- that terrible Eye glaring back.
- Surely, for him, the supreme blasphemy?
- For here and here and here
- he paints the progress, the price
- of such knowledge:
- the sere underlight diseasing
- each face he paints from the mirror.
- 2. Gaugin
- Heliotrope or tournesol, however named
- each a flowered metaphor of the sun.
- They rose and set in Daubignys
- to seed Vincents mind with their
- Sunbursts of passion. And entropy.
- An outcry of the real he said.
- (His kind of sanity transparent as
- And he faced toward it, oblivious
- that the covenant must hold:
- that only while sightings remain oblique
- will the Star be tamed
- only in dayshadow negative,
- long blue castings
- intangible as faith,
- only in the lakes un-netted
- can the Star be held.
- Or as bloods redshift flicker
- behind closed eyelids,
- a fission of petals;
- the earlobes translucence offered
- sun to sun
- flower-wheel to fire.
- 3. Rachel
- They grew like weeds that summer.
- Hed pick them by the roadside or
- at the edge of fields. Huge bunches.
- Then take them back to the yellow house,
- and paint.
- Thats all I know about sunflowers.
- Or him.
- Though youd like me to say
- some whores secret?
- (Did he have me strip
- those flower-heads of their seed,
- to stream from my mouth
- while he took me
- like a beast, from behind?
- Did he have me carpet a circle:
- make a great sun with them
- while he, in the centre
- stripped himself of seed?
- Or when he brought me that piece
he cried: For you, lady,
ear of the bull!
- That as he left, seeds trailed after like
- of blood, black on the sand?)
- No, this is a small town
- and I have a living to make.
- I have nothing to tell. Except this:
- I liked him.
- But I never did care for all that yellow.