26 April 2013

April 26 : Art And The Artist


Raindrops trickle down
reality-tinted window panes
exhausted legs crumple
onto an unmade bed.

Bare walls. Bare arms.
Tendrils of black hair
reach the small of her back,
arched like a taut-stringed bow.

Slender fingers settle the pillows
Pull at a plug for the perfect light.
She arranges her long, shapely limbs
around her, her grey eyes ask
if she's doing it right.

And you can see every muscle
move precisely, supple,
an ocean beneath the velvet skin.
And his eyes sit silent, just taking it in.

Erect in his hand, he holds
his tool of the trade
(his beautiful red-brown paintbrush)
and he waits.
With his paints gathered around him
in an order decided upon years ago,
a grimy cup of water (stained green and deep).
He watches her
silently with an air of detached awe.

Her mouth seems to never be still,
His hands move like moths around light.
He sees not her - he sees through her
into the light of her soul
behind the long still lashes
of her sky-grey eyes.
Her collarbones, the hollows
and the hills of her curves.
Her shoulders, gracefully
forming those arms, light brown,
gentle down shining in the twilight.
The straight arc of her spine
placed strategically
between the beautiful indentations
in the small of her back.
He sees the mole on her hip.
The birthmark on her ankle,
shaped like a shard of
freshly broken glass
ragged.

The paints swirl around on the canvas,
gentle, the brush flows as if by itself.
His hand is the crevices
guiding the river of the brush
gushing down the topography that
is her body.

He isn't himself,
he doesn't need to see the bills in the broken bowl
in the dusty apartment rise up to the roof,
he doesn't need to work at the smelly restaurent
down by the dockside or wait for a phonecall
from a family that left. He is more than
the sum of his individual peculiarities (the way
he scratches his nose when he's uncomfortable
how he hunches when he walks, his torn pockets
that lose him pennies, that he will never sew
his light-furred cat and how he scrunches up his
face when he laughs, his shoebox of tear-stained letters
safe at the back of his closet), he can matter.
He is a catalyst, he will see and he will move,
his eyes (with his own special perception of the world and
her scar-stained forearms) and his hands (his beautiful hands)
are the only parts of him that mean anything. He is an Artist.

She isn't herself,
she can forget the cursed whitewashed walls of this
godforsaken studio and the magazines that rejected
her and the men that hounded her down till she relented
and slept with them in the salty mattresses and the thin
blankets, hard like stale bread, she can move beyond
the repressive childhood and the bad decisions to get out
of her town, to mean something to the world and fail
all over again, like her mother said she would.
She is more than all that. She is Art. And she
watches him with open mouth, in awe of his awe
of her. This is all she wanted when she asked them
to photograph her, not fame or money, she just
wanted to be Art in somebody's eyes for a while,
so that she could be Art in her own grey oceans.

She is still.
He pauses, looks at the foggy grey outside.
Sliced up by electric wires, into disorderly gashes
of rain-coloured sky, stretched out so far, so long
that the melting horizon looks painfully ephemeral.
He never wants to leave this room
she never wants to leave his sight.

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