Vietnam and napalm,
fear death agony destruction
and all for nothing!
Slanting forward, I slash the canvas
with colliding colors, fractured planes,
splintered perspectives, blood-red rhythms,
writhing soldiers, twisted trees,
(gray hair soaked with sweat,
old clothes splattered with paint)
a crazy conflagration of distorted shapes,
which looks like nothing so much
as a Hieronymus Bosch on hash,
(or maybe some asylum inmate’s “art therapy” piece)
destined, when it’s done, for an exhibit at the
Vietnam Veterans Museum, thinking of Iraq
as I lash away and of the roadside-bombed soldiers,
I read about everyday, reassigned to graves …
“Art tells us the truth about being human.”
I remember reading in one of my art criticism books.
So does a bullet.