Painting by the Numbers
Schizoid reds, paranoid blues,
Psychotic yellows, bizarre greens,
Demented white, psychopathic black
Deranged chaos, lunacy mixed, evolves.
Possible glory sets with slow westering sun.
Sgraffito knife slashes clash with
Bristle strokes snatched swift from palette,
Losing race to fading shades.
Woven linen, slopped in stewed rabbit glue, stretched,
Pulled, nail impaled to smooth-sanded, square wooden frame,
Clamped against its will to pigment-stained easel,
Has suffered failure,
More than enjoying deserved applause.
Doesn’t care; soaring
Impressionism, dark surrealism,
Reality’s fractals reflecting
(Which is, it knows, myopic),
Have nothing to do
With its natural state, blank man-made, flax slate.
Dares artist’s pretension: coax just one masterpiece…
Use mere linseed cloth, sable, wooden sticks, pastes of hue.
Sepia ink, ocher sought, unearthed,
Vibrant viridians, violets …
Painters have visual choices, their worst risk
To be denied alla prima emotion.
For those who sketch color with language,
There’s no room for error; fearing gray,
Impossible, wordless void.