I haven’t found my way clear
to being an artist.
Everyone can tell
my glasses are always too clean,
no unexpected dabs
of burnt umber or crimson lake,
my hair never askew,
nothing you could call artistic, really.
I watch my dachsund running
in ear-flying loops
around my uninspired garden
that is not the garden of an artist
though he thinks it paradise enow,
and finding an alluring sea
of broken blue Italian tiles
beyond a sweep of wild oregano,
into the deepest wave,
then dries himself by rolling on
the bath towel I’ve left out on the step,
with gentlemanly courtesy.
All this stirs up my urge
to pick a #2 boar’s bristle brush
out of the brushes in the coffee can
in what is not a studio, to run it
in a wriggling line
(Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent)
along the defiantly white wall
of the plain room where I’ve spent
too much of my life
teaching myself to get used to it.