Gauguin’s Escape

Loyalty wanes in the shadow of compromise
When the sun begins to set and the day is tired.
Where peace seems far off and every thing else
Is immediately in your face.

Visions of ‘Gauguin’s Escape’ tease at my own lust.
Art is such an over abused excuse for selfishness.
“Don’t you understand?” We cry! “Can’t you see?”
“I have to write!”
“I have to paint!”
“I have to masturbate!”
“I have to catch the fleeting muse!”
“See – oh see – it’s gone now…”
A flacid vision has passed
Along with any inspiration and
Pretense of self-discipline.

I am such a selfish man.

I can write and paint and masturbate
After the days calling has been done.
After the kids are put to bed.
After the dogs have been fed.
After the wife is asleep.
The wine still tastes the same and
I try to drink it slower. But,
I find myself trying to write faster
Trying to catch up
To all that I think I have missed.
Paul Gauguin – don’t know whether to despise or envy him.

Suddenly, I pity him.
Can art replace life?
Living breathing life?

Life that grows and forces us to change.
Life that forces our art, to change.

Brown bodies always stay brown.
Ocean waves are eternal.
Sand is still hot to the soles of our feet
In the noonday sun.

Still, warm brown bodies,
Tempt the selfish soul.

I am such a selfish man.

Isn’t life found when we lose it?
When we lose it to others and not to ourselves?
I wonder of the world Gauguin escaped –
Was it that bad?

Upstairs, my oldest boy
Sleeps in his crib.

Downstairs, my youngest boy
Nurses at his mothers’ breast.

Do I really need to touch myself
To know that I’m alive?

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