My poem The Artist Seeks to Drown in Nothingness published in VEXT Magazine



“For his art did express a quintessence even from nothingness.”  A Nocturnal on St. Lucy’s Day by John Donne
The two selves, dark and light.  Without the dark, no art speeds across the page, no paint spreads across the canvas, no clay transformed, no creative play.
The artist lights a little bonfire to protect himself from the night.  A brave man, he quakes, flees, hides beneath a cover of leaves. Thinks to cheat death through its semblance.
All happy sounds banished. The lights extinguished. He walks in shadow until his fears subside, derides his tremor and lights a flame to blind Lucia.
The spark, the light, the gasp of breath.  Flesh flinches from touch until laid to rest.  His body, once hot with blood’s tumescence, its essence denied, lies cold and still.
And still he dreams in darkness.  And still his genius rests, quintessence of clarity drowned once more in nothingness.

Spectral Lyre’s The real Paris: Anna remembers Amedeo

Two of my favorites

Spectral Lyre

She met Modigliani when he was still poor and unrecognized. They sat in the Jardin du Luxembourg and recited Verlaine to each other. He drew sixteen portraits of her, of which only one survives. She preferred it to any other and kept it hanging in her room to the end of her days. She describes these meetings with Modigliani in a memoir of him published in 1965, and notes with evident nostalgia that the city in which they took place was ‘vieux Paris et Paris d’avant guerre,’ where the principal means of transport was still the fiacre. The Russian ballet was all the rage—The Firebird was put on in June 1910—and Chagall had already arrived ‘with his magical Vitebsk.  (Max Hayward, Writers in Russia: 1917-1978.)

Later in life, not having left Russia again in a third of a century, she would be astonished to learn how famous he had become.


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