In their excess, their blowsy dreaming
and King Solomon-like tempers, the clouds
possess the grandeur of eighteenth-century oils,
when a painter earned his profession
as an anatomist. Those artists of verdigris
and gamboge, too gorged on joy, perhaps,
treated that blank pasture of the “heavens”
like something that had lived.
Their crawly undoings remind us
of the mean curiosities of sheep, the sea’s
half-remembered boil, or a few twisted bolls
of cotton—the morning phosphorescent
or sunset a dull, worn-out gilt.
The nights there were scumbled with light.
How could we ever have taken them
for the abstinence of art?
- In the Gallery of the Ordinary by William Logan
Eastern Mediterranean flash, 1st century CE
Grace Of God Go I
In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
Who, squatting upon the ground,
Held his heart in his hands,
And ate of it.
I said, “Is it good, friend?”
“It is bitter—bitter,” he answered;
“But I like it
“Because it is bitter,
“And because it is my heart.”
- In the Desert by Stephen Crane