Issue Four

Summer 2012


The Dream of Art

The eyes of the Yemeni tribal chief are hard
and wet. An altogether promising start,
despite my painting from a souvenir card
and not from the sitting model. His antique heart
is next. But how can I find it underneath
the robes and leather belt? Behind the knife?
Impossible! Instead I count the teeth
and wait. But I've been waiting half my life.
The telephone rings upstairs. It keeps on ringing
as I adjust the dangling iron lantern.
I'm kneeling in my palette. The lamp keeps swinging,
twirling, brushing light against a pattern
in the gessoed canvas, on the bone-dry size
of cavities and pearls that were his eyes.


Rick Mullin