My canvas used to be coarse off-white parchment
upon which my pencil flourished sketches of churches and courtyards
and my watercolor brush traced damp bristles over the rutted texture,
each muted hue bleeding into the next.
Buildings were always my specialty, but now
My canvas is the land.
Chants of Deutschland, Deutschland march to the rhythm of
fluttering paper posters, torn ends trailing,
wind rippling them against the walls imbued with grime.
This is what my paintings have become.
The buildings scream of horror and filth;
fractured glass shards jut from every shattered windowpane.
Behind the defaced doors,
dingy yellow lights flicker feebly in the lifeless shops.
I watch as a man writhes on the ground,
His backside torched, blackened
like intense charcoal shading.
I used to draw them naked.
I thought nobody captured every taut tendon
quite like I did-
Perhaps I know tension better than all.
The man’s limbs twitch: oh, how I could name
every quivering muscle and bone beneath that shriveled skin.
Faced with this wasted landscape,
I forge the masterpiece in my mind.
Bodies litter the streets like limp sacks of grain,
pushed up against curbs, against buildings, against
each other. My artist’s mind protests at their disfigured anatomies.
Crimson acrylics smear the pavement in broad brushstrokes:
Like Monet. But better. But natural.
I think to myself,
Anybody can make scratches on paper.
But no one;
can make real art
better than I can.
and he watches from his Führer throne
as blotches of scarlet watercolors splatter
across the shredded canvas.