Monday, November 11, 2013

Sous-chef Soutine



The trees thrash and whip. The hills wobble.
The village hunkers down, pinching its nose
at the wind's incessant flatulence. 
Flies bounce like flicked capers off the windows.
Every house is an abattoir, every room a larder. 
The residents wobble on the rickety furniture
like meat cushions teetering on spindly legs.
They wheeze, strung up in hammocks of sinew.
Not me though. You can hear me down here
in the basement; ripping, gnashing, gulping.
My brush drips turpentine and gravy.
My stretched canvas hide is basted with sweat.
Peel, splatter, smear. Lick the linseed oil
from my fingertips. I hurl my esophagus
inside out like a starfish, engulfing my prey
in its juicy mitt. Feeling it dissolve into my guts.
Like the wind, I am ravenous, insatiable.
This is all I want to do: chew, gobble, digest…
and this is what is squeezed out.
Paintings that writhe in the cauldron;
tenderized and marinated, quivering and moist.
Every scrap, every morsel, every drop is absorbed,
then transformed, then served up in tureens and platters.
The world tucks in its napkin
and prepares to devour itself,
and when it is stuffed to the gills and unbuckles its belt
and leans back in its chair and belches
I swallow it raw.

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