I obsessively alter minutia
thinking tonight’s brush stroke
might fix  my odd composition
of tower windows reflecting
sea and islands, opening into dark  interiors.

Why are most landscapes so empty?
is nature so divorced from us –
untrammeled dream illustrations —
that dirty handed man should not appear
in abstractions of love,  in light and color.


Year after year my paintings pile up
crowd the walls, scream for attention.


Van Gogh rendered miner’s boots
cracked and worn, black and brown —
before color lifted
his evangelistic despair
into brilliant seas of grass.


Edvard Munch’s red angst–
She in a dark wood dream
hands against her ears,
screams   –


Damian Hirst breaking convention
repeals all light and color
with dark, rotting bug abstractions,
elephant dung and the crucifixion,
with sights and smell appalling
evokes a worried  introspection.
How far from beauty have we come,
what seed hides in dung?


Pizzazz – gladiators in the flicks,
chariots crashing around the pylons,
Hur diving between his horses.
Imagine Gable’s million-dollar gams
from ‘Pin Up Girl’, painted on B17s.

In the eighties,
alone in the Uffizi’s Botticelli room,*
I entered the Primavera,
and in this eternal dance,
I  remain.

Kent Bowker

*( no tourists, in 1986, ‘Libya  Bomba  Lampadusa,’)

2 thoughts on “Painting”

  1. Holy Shit, Kent! You’re just like me. You’re not an atheist. Your sub conscious won’t accept it. I absolutely agree with you: “… in this eternal dance, I remain.” In the moment, I’m reading your poem and using my razor. Can you accept mine in the same way as I accept yours? I trust that you can. But I hope you won’t feel offended when I ask, “Do you honestly believe that our coming together at this precise time in our lives is just a coincidence. Kent, I’m reading your poetry, ruthlessly examining it with my razor, and I’m praying that you will read the rest of my book using yours.

  2. Your poem, by the way, is a narrative, a story! Did you read Chapter Three in my book. “All well-written stories are more than similes. They are not like life. They are true metaphors. They are life!

    Wow, Kent! I’ve got to take a break. I’ll come back tomorrow, but go ahead, Kent. Read the rest of my book using your razor.

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