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Visiting Vincent poem

January 31st, 2018 · 3 Comments · Poetry

Visiting . Vincent

.

.

I got this invitation

To take a crazy trip down south

From a blazing young artist

Dripping colors from his mouth.

.

So I got myself a ticket

On the Starry Night Express

Heading out of Holland

To the province of Excess.

.

I’d never met the man

Who turned the Seine to yellow,

But he seemed like such a happy cat,

I had to meet this fellow.

.

So I bought some wine in Arles,

And went looking for his house,

Knowing like I know artists,

He was probably a souse.

.

I wandered past the bridges,

And the boats upon the shore,

Then to his yellow house did I

Come rapping on his door.

.

“Oh Vincent, my good fellow,”

I called out, halfway nervous,

“I’ve come from Holland, I’ve got some wine,

My friend, I’m at your service.”

.

Creaking up his tiny stairs,

The walls were streaked with paint,

All was quiet, holy, skill,

Like the cloister of a saint.

.

With my heart a’clippin’ faster

Than the tracks of that Starry train,

I pushed his door and stepped beyond

The threshold of the sane.

.

Upon his walls were sunflowers

Twisted and blazing yellow,

Not one I tell you, but rows of them,

In a most glorious welcoming “Hello.”

.

I suddenly knew him so much more,

His art was so alive,

I thought he was in the room with me,

And it took minutes to derive,

.

It was but his bed, his smock, his hat,

That made me feel his presence,

That, and the tingling joyous buzz

Of his dripping oil presents.

.

Following a hunch,

I went to the Night Cafe,

Even though it was technically,

The middle of the day.

.

I ordered up some absinthe,

And took a look around,

But no where in this swirling bar

Was my Vincent to be found.

.

Then from a table against a wall

The woman of the house looked up,

“Madame Ginoux,” she said,

As she offered me a cup.

.

In broken French I asked her

If she knew my painter friend,

She smiled a twinkle, said “Let me tell you,”

Then I thought it’d never end . . .

.

The tales she spun of nights he’d spent

Arguing in a rage,

Ranting loudly, pounding tables,

But with the wisdom of a sage.

.

“Roulin, come join us,” she suddenly called

To a portly passing postman,

Approaching came a bearded gent,

Much kindlier than most men.

.

“Bonjour!” he boomed,

Sticking out his hand,

As Madame Ginoux described my plight,

I was blessed in Vincentland.

.

He smiled as I explained

Why I’d come this far,

And what it was about Vincent’s art,

In the way he caught a star.

.

Assured that I was true of heart

Roulin released the news,

He’d seen him on the road today,

Armed with easels and his muse.

.

Wandering to’rd the wheatfields,

Roulin had seen him go,

“It’s his latest love, those glowing fields

That God Himself did sow.”

.

Honored with this sacred tip,

I followed the Golden Path,

It felt like I’d been baptized

In a champion’s Champaign bath.

.

Past cypress trees and orchards,

I wandered sun-drenched lanes,

Yielding power with each new step,

The Gods’ hands upon the reigns.

.

The wheatfields blew like ocean waves,

Then I spotted something bobbing,

An easel’s peak, like a sail,

Of a tiny ship a’lobbing.

.

My heart was pounding, I took a step

Into Vincent’s sacred earth,

It came alive, my God I swear,

Just broaching his flaming hearth.

.

There was Vincent! Brush in hand!

Raging against the night,

There was Vincent fighting off

The dying of the light.

.

Palette weaving, body soaring,

I felt myself in air,

Vincent swirling, never knowing,

That I was even there.

.

But the sun was growing ever larger

Engulfing the fading sky,

Into a giant wash of color

I felt my body fly.

.

I lost my mind, lost regret,

Like Icarus I soared,

Wings be-damned, with Vincent’s heart,

Through the sky I roared,

.

Into a world he knew so well,

His beaming light a’glow,

All the artists lived up here,

Hey, there’s Michelangelo!

.

.

Through purples and yellows and orange and green,

Heaven’s alive in you know what I mean.

.

It’s there on the wall, it’s in the “seeing,”

It’s in the eyes of every being.

.

And then I fell into a field — and Vincent now was gone,

But I never did come back from that trip that I was on.

.

Through purples and yellows and orange and green,

Through Vincent’s eyes I’ve seen what he’s seen.

.

Through exploding yellow and cascading light,

In Vincent’s world I’ve lived my life.

.

===============================

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Here’s a piece about the excellent Loving Vincent movie.

Here’s a real-life Adventure Poem about the Dalai Lama in Central Park.

.

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by Brian Hassett  —  karmacoupon@gmail.com   —  BrianHassett.com

Or here’s my Facebook account if you wanna follow things there —

https://www.facebook.com/Brian.Hassett.Canada

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3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Scott Moore // Jan 31, 2018 at 9:47 PM

    Thank you for sharing this lively and colorful piece, nice work Brian. It is really a fun poem to read.

  • 2 Deb Reul // Feb 1, 2018 at 6:11 AM

    Fantastic! What a trip. I remember you doing this with David at the Living Room and some other places back in the day. Thanks for the memory.

  • 3 Chris Welch // Feb 2, 2018 at 9:25 PM

    This is so great! I just read it out loud for Sarah and London. We all loved it. Thanks so much for the after-dinner treat. xxxooo

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