A Trade In Mixed Media

He had the hands of a construction worker

Slit and scarred by boxcutters

grinded and calloused by stretching canvas

punched with holes from missed stapling

He was an artist


and his paintings meant everything to him

He gave up his youth to import time to them

he didn't try capturing surrealist infinity

or minimalist simplicity

or pre-revolution French Nobility

Not about that old school classicist Greco-Roman antiquity

He was about family

and landscapes

He was about rolling hills

He understood that maps made the

mountains of Germany look like one plane puzzle pieces

But that with paint he could show them

Kissing the clouds

and with oils

he could pollute the ocean to a purer sense

He was an artist


and he respected the master pieces that came before him

Hanging up in collective tombs

Put to rest in framed caskets

his ancestry was many

and his children of thought numerous

When each one came to him

sitting on his porch

or lying in bed

or observing the red cloaked women in front of him

he primed the baby’s room with gesso

He was an artist


He found his lover on the walls of the Metropolitan

smiling at him in a golden trance

his body on a smooth bench

Five year old feet dangling above a wooden floor

He said his vows silently

and they went to make many more

with her in mind, his muse, his magnum opus

He painted landscapes like monet ‘

and popped them out everyday

he was an artist


Born of love and of blood

He was an artist

and his paintings meant everything to him

He gave up his youth to import time to them

loved and catered each one of them


So when charcoal stained the creases in his hand

The wrinkles that proved him a man

He looked on to each of his children ,

and smiled

because age was handing him a ticket home

and he thought to his wife and their soon to be time alone

and he caressed his children

The thick bumps and air pockets

and smooth paint

and tried to express all he couldnt through imagery.

Like the way violins sound

The feeling of a heartbeat after running full speed

The shock of electricity

a mans  love for his family

and covered them

one last time in varnish

He was an artist, yes

but more importantly

he was a father


As his only child of flesh and blood

knee rubbed red from kneeling

on his studio floor

watching his hunched frame

his slender brushes move up and down


up and down

switch brushes

I find myself walking his footsteps

in another medium.

I write because my father showed me what art was

how it is relatability and familiarity

and how art is emotion

and timeless

I write because it is my medium

it is my art

and it is my father


Born of love and of blood

we are artists

and our art means everything to us

we give to our work our time and our trust

that one day my child

of love and blood

will look and touch and read my art

and be with me the same way his grandfather is

hanging on the walls

framed in caskets

on canvas we stretched ourselves


He had the hands of a construction worker

and I have his eyes

and we share a trade

in mixed media

we are artists.

I write

because I understand

what being an artist means


Saving For A Shallow Grave

Deep, nice

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