Red and Pink, the Little Mephisto
MEPHISTOPHELES: That I shall wait on Faustus whilst he lives, so he will buy my service with his soul. -Dr. Faustus, by Christopher Marlowe
The close observer will notice the image in the cascade of red paint above and slightly to the right of the reclining girl. There’s a face in the fabric of the painting like Christ’s in the shroud of Turin; it hovers ghostlike over Little Mephisto, I can see the image of a woman’s eye and a gray shoulder, it could be a draft of Little Evelyn or one of his self portraits painted roughly over. The girl on the divan in a pink dress sprawls invitingly behind her cheeky fan, her face also a mask. The thick red of the divan seems likely to have been brushed over something else, a kneeling figure, I like to imagine, pleading before the darkened angel obliterated in the wall of red.
the surfeit of red
as if fire had spilled
from the sky, red rain falling
in a crimson silken sheet
a fallen angel
would trade you a moment’s bliss
for your soul. Devil
in a pink dress, slovenly
beckoning and seductive
slick work quickly done
as if it was too hot to touch
partly a picture
he tried to erase, but look!
even her stockings are red
Charles Tarlton: "I am a retired professor who has been writing poetry full time since 2010. I am especially addicted to emphasis and have published ekphrastic tanka prose in KYSO Flash, Haibun Today, Atlas Poetic, Contemporary Haibun Online, Review American, Ekphrastic Review, and Fiction International."
The Ekphrastic Review
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