Five hours of fitful sleep, and pouring

over texts of words that escape

my memory, moments after

reading them.

There is no Shelley who spins

tales in my head, only images

that do not follow, and phrases

that do not explain.

In earnest, I have seen the sleepy

artist’s palette, her brush dropping

from her fingertips as she dozes,

wakes in a quiet panic, and

tries to recall her vision

that becomes a dream.

There are shades of blue and aubergine

that hint of dusk becoming a

surreal depiction of a sky,

and shades of soft-yellow, quick brush

strokes, unfinished, only groundwork

she will lay to give a seamless glow.

The paint drips together,

swirling without mixing,

firm, linear shapes that

end in a small globe, and

does she see?

Slipping in and out of consciousness,

she might reflect on painting

ahead of her, but she does

and does not see it,

a mirage of collective soul,

dribbled out through bouts of

wakeful tendency, and


Ceci n’est pas une pipe

Seven years of age, and such a

grasp on what is real and not.

My son tells me, 

his expression severely

serious, stony eyes do not blink,

“I never saw a picture of a French


What treachery our eyes are subjected 

to, and still we see.

I could paint a canvas of striking

imagery with words, yet they are 

not images, merely scribbles

against some paper scraps I had 

lying near me, reciepts, 

and blank notecards intended for study,

half-sketched ideas preserved.

Is it not the idea and the feeling

captured in the artwork

we are to consider,


is it, simply, not a pipe?

To My Friend Who Advises to Shatter Something to Pieces

It’s not that there is not merit to

what you are saying.

Sure; there is certainly satisfaction

in breaking something apart,

reveling in the tiny fragments

that scatter where it once 

claimed whole.

Creation, even, 

in destruction.

But if you take an egg,

throw it with all of your strength,

and watch the soggy insides

drip and ooze against the concrete

where it met its demise

so suddenly,

you cannot take back your action.

Similarly, with your suggestion:

take a bat and smash it!

You have defied the first Creator

of your now beaten, 

broken object

that was once a vase, 

a lamp, a teapot, a glass,

never to be as it once was.

There is no coming back,

no repair you could possibly offer,

amount of glue, or time, or energy,

to give back to the first artist

who sat painting, painstakingly,

threw on the wheel, handbuilt,

or blew with heat and fire at their brow,

the sweat and blood worked into 

their art piece,

nor do you honor the first owner

who saw it as something that might

bring color and light into their

home, or coffee, how it matched

some part of their own soul and 

called to them.

It is a statement, to be sure,

and granted, I do not take to

any theory of broken windows

or juvenile crime from your 

emotion that you deigned art

the very moment a wooden

bat connected with a fragile

figment, standing in your

way of violent rebellion (it is, afterall,

in our nature to do such things),

but I must protest.

What is it, exactly, 

that you wish to state?

That you can break something?

Did you believe that you could not?

That no object lasts forever?

Were we not already aware?

Or is it a metaphor for the fragility 

of life, a moment taken to

destroy what took hours to 

design, seal, and paint?

What is the point of that?

If you took these pieces, and made

a mosiac, or pictures for a show,

slowed down time to watch that moment

preserving it on film forever,

but I don’t feel that is what you are doing,


You destroy it for the sheer joy

of destroying something,

and nothing more than that.

I can not abide this.

I won’t.