Van Gogh

Why cannot I draw upon this flesh
a vision in which to paint to you
in words this agony of silence
bound within a mute world
I stare into Spring’s horizon
imaging Van Gogh’s brush
how he must have felt, each stroke
an utterance of his eternal wound
dipping each breath beneath clouds
he created with swirls of grey

Dear Theo, he would write
explaining his suffering voice
not from inaction but misunderstanding
Dear Gaughan, he would write
explaining his creating, desire for his muse
to fill this void left in cloud filled fields
describing chair, bed, paintings hung
above this bed in the Yellow House
as if to convince there was no other place

Would Van Gogh had left his brush
caked with paint, died to a blank
canvas if Gaughan had never visited
or would the blood that coursed
bled ochre, Prussian blue tipped with black
continued to light his eternal flame
for he needed no muse beyond the breath
that built beauty inside his human house.

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  1. I’m reminded of what Artaud wrote about Van Gogh in ‘The Man Suicided by Society’, that his final doctor at the sanitarium should have prescribed rest and quiet. Instead he put paint in Van Gogh’s hands and encouraged him to do more art. I’ve always been fascinated that Artaud believed that helped push him over the edge.

  2. each stroke
    an utterance of his eternal wound

    This certainly is revealed is his later paintings and the energy and color flourishes reveal the paranoia and schizophrenia.


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    Words are my own unless otherwise noted. Creativity is something to be shared, but that decision should always be left to the creator.
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