The Death of the Painter
At the end of his life
he had money and attention,
and certain towns were known
in connection to his name.
He was fastidious, and wore a tie,
was photographed with brushes, with a bird.
under the subtropical sky
he forgave the things long done.
He hardly saw his children,
by habit was self-absorbed. His atelier
was sacrosanct, with the ocean for a view.
When he painted, it was descent
and descent and descent from the cross,
and when he died
the sepulchre was simple.
His late-life love
wept from another room.
I can hear a pin drop in the space defined by this poem. And the line, “When he painted, it was descent/and descent and descent from the cross” has a particularly poignant ring just about now, as I spend every waking moment in the studio finishing the work for my show in July. Looking for the uplift just about now…
Thank you to Rebecca Salt for sending this poem to me.
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