A Half-Van Gogh

Vincent_van_Gogh_-_Self_portrait_with_bandaged_ear_F529

“I am getting a half -Van Gogh,” I say over the phone.

“A half -Van Gogh? What is that?”

“You know how Van Gogh lopped off his left ear after a fit of madness, or so it’s claimed?”

“Yes.”

“Well, I’m getting half my left ear, the lobe lopped off.”

Silence.

“Why? Why would you do that?”

“It’s cancerous.”

“Oh dear.”

“You said you would love me even if I had half my face missing.”

“I know but …”

“Hello. Hello…”

Ring tone.

 

Hold Like an Apple

cezanne

Whenever I feel a poem ‘coming on’

The images flickering before me like dragonflies

In sunlight, the sentences skittering off

In the distance, I feel like Cezanne bawling out

Vollard who kept falling asleep during a pose,

“Wretch! Stay still! You’re ruining everything.

You  must hold your pose like an apple.”

Mistaken for a ….. once again

images

 

You can’t say ‘no’

to a bloke in a wheelchair with one leg and a busted right eye

so I reached into my pocket

to pull out some coins

but then

he said he didn’t want money.

 

You got any grass? He said.

Weed? I answered. No.

Look at me.

You’re asking the wrong guy.

 

That’s the third time in two years I’ve been mistaken

for a druggie.

Perhaps it’s that flannelette shirt and the

Faraway look I’ve had

since I was a kid.

Maybe I should wear sunnies.

Le Coq

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It wasn’t Miro’s colourful coq

Nor Chaucer’s Chanticleer

Nor the one that crowed three times when Peter

Denied Jesus.

 

It was just a garden variety rooster

That waddled onto the page

When my back was turned

& scrabbled between the lines

 

Before I sent him on his way

feathers all ruffled

Into a sunset red

as a coxcomb.