Van Gogh Poem

I propose that today, we paint in the rain

I see the nails in your hands and understand

The astonishing gray of the sea now resembles

This hole in the sky.

Again we put more hope in the trees and

Plant a Paris without circumstance

A chance to explain and

be masters of poverty-

To regard the flowers with jealousy

I struggle for lives life like that

It cannot contain all the tones of the heart.

The progress of light now broken

Night belongs sooner in intentions than in

These false deeds of illumination

The landscape tries vainly to remember the sun.

November 4, 2009

From Van Gogh’s letters


City of Holy Faith

City of Holy Faith

Days of silence

days of storms, lightning, wind and rain

Now my own voice is strange to me

Now life cracks open and rises around me

Now even the clouds and sky wrap themselves around me

I drown in this desert sea.

The dead are with us, here.

We carry them in our pockets, here

as if they were the currency of

frustrated dreaming.

We carry them in our pockets along

with the sand and rocks and the bits

of teeth and fur and bone scraped from the land.



Here, dreaming is easy, though,

Beauty and death become the same.

Serpents and dogs practice these rituals

over and over, just as it was

at the beginning of time.

June 8, 2016


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