A woman as exotic as in a painting by Cézanne
stops me in front of an outlandish skyscraper
and hands me her cellphone, saying,
It’s for you.
I don’t use cellphones
my ears are sacrosanct
maybe that’s too strong of a word
but you get my drift.
It’s for you, she repeats,
getting more exotic
in fact, if I may offer some casual art criticism,
sexier than anything in a painting by Cézanne.
Just this once, I say,
compromising on the spot
gripped by the irrationality of beauty
and a painting come to life.
Hello there, I say,
and the voice on the other end
says, You’ve been zapped
and now you’ll disappear,
and then I was gone
inexplicable as a painting by God
or a sketch by the Devil.
by J. J. Steinfeld
“Art Criticism” from Misshapenness (Ekstasis Editions, 2009) by J. J. Steinfeld, copyright © 2009 by J. J. Steinfeld, and first published in Chiron Review. Used by permission of the author.
Fiction writer, poet, and playwright J. J. Steinfeld lives on Prince Edward Island, where he is patiently waiting for Godot’s arrival and a phone call from Kafka. While waiting, he has published fifteen books, including Our Hero in the Cradle of Confederation (Novel, Pottersfield Press), Should the Word Hell Be Capitalized? (Stories, Gaspereau Press), Anton Chekhov Was Never in Charlottetown (Stories, Gaspereau Press), Would You Hide Me? (Stories, Gaspereau Press), An Affection for Precipices (Poetry, Serengeti Press), Misshapenness (Poetry, Ekstasis Editions), A Glass Shard and Memory (Stories, Recliner Books), and Identity Dreams and Memory Sounds (Poetry, Ekstasis Editions). A new short story collection, Madhouses in Heaven, Castles in Hell, is forthcoming from Ekstasis Editions.
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