Issue 154, Spring 2000
An evening, sad like snow in a landscape
(late Vermeer, no signature, no date
in an old man's hand). In the center
of the room stands a lamp. As the snow dies out
you hear a clock tick-tocking.
From the shelf classics goggling.
What can we add to this picture:
a burning flame in a Dutch fireplace?
a pair of borzois on a bear rug?
ringlets? scallops? pastilles?
a map of the country on a tripod?
the perspective of checkered tiles underfoot?
"You're lying, Pal Ivanych," in the antique hearth
there's nothing except coal and soot.
To be honest, no fireplace there to be seen
in this ultra sad landscape:
so, something like a little flat,
two nostrils square is what we' re at.
The drunken landlord sits over a sheet,
listens to Nyman, spills some liquid
onto the empty sheet of paper.
He's nothing to write home about.
And nothing comes from the fact that we
painted (quite apart from Vermeer),
it seems, there's nothing around.
Snow drip-drops over the cornice.
So let's imagine a mise-en-scène:
as before, windows look onto a wall.
Nyman scrapes away. One would like to howl.
Charcoal. No signature. Close brackets.