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"Still Life with Three Books" by Vincent van Gogh ~ April, 1887


I have a house of authors in my head.
Each has his room for writing, each has her fervent purpose.
They are filling filing cabinets and notebooks within me;
bowling fireballs down shaded synapse halls.

The historians in their sepia coats are never off the clock.
They do not sleep but rotate, moving in and out
from behind an old black iron typewriter.
Its ceaseless clacking keeps the meter of their memory dance.
They see themselves as scrupulous scientists. Impeccable.
One more clear and concretely objective than the other.
They drink their dedication black from rose-chipped cups,
never owning their own talents for translation.

Down the corridor the journalists are squabbling again.
Recorders of the present, too often looking forward,
why do they miss the day for hunching over tablets?
Who shellacked their spectacles with such blinding divination?

And ever thick among them are the artists.
Shamelessly prolific in their opulent articulations,
they fill the shelves with poetry books and charcoal sketches,
heedless of the gothic impact of their romantic swirlings.
The artists do not pretend at reality.
They write instead of golden rings and worst cases,
they pen in blood my golden dreams and nightmare faces,
then bind them in truth embossed skin; a series of seductive fiction.

I step into the narcissus scented library and the scribes scatter.
They do not like the dust-moted shafts of light that I bring in.
They are whispering and wondering what volumes I will choose today.
So am I.


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