Thursday, May 21, 2009

Beating it with a hose

It may have been due to all the itching (from poison ivy), but I just couldn't get into a groove during the Solomons paint out. I wanted to celebrate what I was seeing. Instead I hauled canvases from place to place and flogged them with painting knives in an attempt to get them to confess. Maybe they told me something useful, and maybe they didn't. But that's not the kind of painter I want to be. You know?

"Introduction to Poetry"
by Billy Collins

I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide

or press an ear against its hive.

I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,

or walk inside the poem's room
and feel the walls for a light switch.

I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author's name on the shore.

But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.

They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.

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