Vincent blues

mad yet humble
tried to do it straight
neat, failed

peasants–his touchstones
lunatics, haystacks, whores
faces, chairs & shoes
(Theo helped, wrote back at least)

eating his paints, poisoned,
saw sunflowers as they really are
tried to get the yellows to go away
(they didn’t)

stayed up all night
to paint cafes and stars
walking by the river
lights & whorls overhead

then something happened:

it didn’t matter anymore
that circles never ended
like inmates in a ring
or that cypresses moved like waves

the sower walked blue fields at dusk
smoking, bandaged, completely sane

& Dr. Gachet looking tres triste
would say “you know
you really oughta get out more”
which Vincent did

the plein air experience…

& then green
lots of green truths
a colour no-one had dared before
that & the crows

then something happened:


A moment of being with van Gogh and his work. I believe van Gogh had many epiphanies and moments of being but, as Don McLean pointed out in his song, he couldn’t communicate these unique visions to his contemporaries. There is, alas, sometimes a heavy price paid by artists for being true to themselves and their representations of life. In his last picture, “Wheat Field with Crows”, he invites us, as audience, to experience and share his apocalyptic vision and the final truths of what “happened” to this great artist.

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