i wish i knew what the guide told the old man in a wheelchair in arabic

a confession’s in the way you break//
from things
or in the search
for new//born //shades//
——————-a scent or language
just how far you dare to—

at the Paul Gauguin exhibit yesterday
thousands of visitors
echoing from white state of the art walls,
so stylish “see–
is that the one they sold for 300 Million US Dollar to Qatar?”

&he sits in his hut
a nip of arsenic– a quick gulp– survives
useless though how hard he tries

no one buys
his paintings

art’s NoT steRiLe
packed in bite-sized morsels,
tasteful, chic for our tongue
to lustful lick its—

you can’t hang it
on a wall inside a palace
&forget his bent shape
when he heard his child is dead
how good he got
with lying to himself//the drinking

i know none of this
as i bow over a canvas too big
for this room, tough to handle,
&around me sand, paint, brushes, mason’s trowel in my hand
there’s hardly space to move
sticky, sweat

builds on my forehead
as i switch on the hot-air gun//pszzhhhhzz
almost vomit as the scent spreads
blistering the paint

because i’ve heard//or seen&feeL

a milligrain–

————–of something


over at dVerse Anthony has us write confession


37 responses to “i wish i knew what the guide told the old man in a wheelchair in arabic

  1. Wonderful about the pain of painting and what’s poured into it in contrast to the valuation which seems even more painful in a way.. And so good to know what the hot-air-gun is used for.

    Art’s not sterile.. For sure.

  2. …just brain stormin here, k? … knowin different languages is always a plus … especially when one is is p…d off at something or some one … swearing in a different language has helped me quite often to “get over it” … so there, that’s my confession … smiles … Love, cat.

  3. You’re on a very strong cycle again. Good stuff, strong, direct. Also some anger to all the wryness in your voice. I’m really liking this cycle, Claudia.

  4. I like ‘a confession is a way you break from things’ and the idea that sometimes we don’t dare to break ‘far.’ I like the contrast you drew between the $300 million painting and the old man in the wheel chair. So much money…and yet not enough. I like the way the old man is speculated about – the drinking? The ending, with the hot air gun, is very visceral!

  5. art is seldom appreciated in this world…for long…people dont realize what goes into it…and they can not see it with the artists eyes….and too oft the art is judged by the position of the artist….i want to talk to the old man…hear his story a bit…

  6. I like how you weave these stories together, the famous artist and his expensive paintings, the anonymous old man and your own work as you struggle to find and convey what you see and feel through your art and words.

  7. I have got to share this, Claudia! My life is filled with artists. My mother, I believe, is a kindred spirit to the voice in this poem.

  8. Art is different things to different people. Some only see the prestige of owning something expesive. Others allow art to touch their souls. Your poem touches my soul.

  9. I wanna have a conversation with the old guy… ugh, art is barely appreciated, though there are a few… for the most part… eh. But, doesn’t that count for more than we give credit to? There’s millions of people pursuing this or that and slim chances any of them make it. I’m feeling a bit chatty this afternoon. ha

  10. Sober mixture here despite some drinking….sometimes art influences us so strongly, and we even don’t know what was it precisely, which part….not the status of artist in physical world for sure, for me…..

  11. ‘a confession is a way you break from things’ wonderful statement. No, art is not sterile – there is blood, sweat, love, anger…..and the old man. All the chic-ies oooo and ahhhhh….wry, angry, sad….a wonderful braid of the famous artist, the old man, yourself…..this deserves several readings.

  12. The beginning lines are so full of insight—YES, indeed! That IS what confession is like, or should be, or could have the potential to be if we really truly used it that way. What a brilliant observation and worded so beautifully as well.

  13. “art’s not sterile…” It can be sterile at times, but the truly great artists (not necessarily the same as famous artists) have works that are not sterile…works that convey life in one form or another, or speak about/against something. Great art is passionate. I just hope that some of my poetic art is not sterile. Great poem, Claudia!

  14. Because you are poet, painter/artist, musician, wife & mother, you never seem to be shy of muses or prompts. Terrific energy in the piece. In my first day at the Acting Conservatory, a three year program, they told us that we were probably all insane to choose Art to make a living, that we had better have some back up vocation cultivated as well; too true for so many of us, but we were still left with a passion to perform, to be read & heard.

  15. Yes, art isn’t for the faint of heart, it demands that we look at what we’d rather not. You dance through this poem with grace; it was stunning!

  16. There’s art that is never displayed for everyone to admire and gauge one’s price ~ I specially admire the opening lines –

    the search
    for new//born //shades//
    ——————-a scent or language

    I see a painting coming out soon, smiles ~

  17. because i’ve heard//or seen&feeL
    a milligrain–
    ————–of something

    That was so powerful Claudia – we haven’t spoken in a while, hope you are doing good.

  18. A darker feel to this confession, Claudia – the contrast of unimaginable riches to the heartbreaking realities of most people – and the final lines of you toiling over your own canvas – wonderful

  19. confessions of how far you dare to…as an artist you must dare to go far as you experiment with texture and color and hope others will appreciate you work. Always an interesting read here.

  20. Strong flexing of poetic muscle once again Claudia! The pain of loosing a child cannot be reached by any drink, I know.

  21. You make me see his bent form as he hears his child is dead, pain painted in his art, what dollar sign can be put upon it? A wonderful write, Claudia, deeply felt.

  22. “art’s NoT steRiLe
    packed in bite-sized morsels,
    tasteful, chic for our tongue”

    So true. What a wonderful conglomeration/contrast of thoughts, sights, feelings, smells. Love it Claudia!