The Artist

July 14, 2009
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Hasn’t slept for two days
Subsists on coffee and
A can of stale peanuts
Wears black, necessarily,
And complains to anyone who will listen
That they ‘wouldn’t understand.’
Slapping down the phone he turns to stare
Despondently at his canvas: laughing
Blank ream of paper on which
He would like to paint his soul,
If it would let him.
He remembers an exhibit he saw
At a contemporary art museum:
All the canvases were white.
He wonders—briefly—if he could get away
With something like that.
Probably not.
Sigh of frustration, hand reaches for salty
Peanuts conveyed to crunching mouth,
Wipe the salt off fingers, wonder if it’s
Worth it. Worth sleep deprivation
And shaking hands and self-doubt.
And then—
A sudden flash of inspiration.
Yes, it is.

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