Sold to a Private Collection
(on seeing Jean-Michel Basquiat's Notary)
you put nothing on but you on canvas—oracle,
SAMO© [same old, same old]--
tagged beat-down warehouses,
scrutiny from rats & bums, night owls, kin.
how is it to be mythic, now, over
one hundred million dollars for clarifying desert dichotomies
with your blood traces, nerve sauce, & sinew?
It’s you in paint, crayon. pundits talk of a fractured
psyche like they know of rags, but your speculations, of words-made-flesh, of PLUTO,
belie their conclusions. You’re a planet, a god of death.
you saw & verbalized LEECHES, FLEAS, & PARASITES
attacking the FLESH of a MALE TORSO,
kafka’s penal-colony machine made visceral.
as you wished, you’re an African presence, a seer
confirming an existence some will pay for but never wash away,
who will pay no mind but surely money.
you, nomad of your own body, finder of self-meaning,
marks & gestures quickening within a caring eye, archaeologist,
lost to most in some private collection.
Darren Lyons is currently an MFA student in the Creative Writing Program of The New School in New York, NY. Recently, his poems were published in Chronogram and The Inquisitive Eater, and a poetry/painting project of his was featured on The Best American Poetry Blog. One of Darren's short stories and another poem were published in the 2016 and 2017 editions, respectively, of Stonesthrow Review.
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