“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?”
“Well, I’m getting half my left ear, the lobe lopped off.”
“Why? Why would you do that?”
“You said you would love me even if I had half my face missing.”
“I know but …”
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.”
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
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.
It wasn’t Miro’s colourful coq
Nor Chaucer’s Chanticleer
Nor the one that crowed three times when Peter
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.