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(broken skin) the death of an artist

by Richard Paez

like the playwright
who becomes his characters
and lives out his plots
in the scenes of his pages
every stroke of his brush,
every strike of his hammer
to that well sharpened chisel,
was his way of getting closer
to telling the Truth
in the most honest way.

when the time came
to paint angels
he remembered how it was,
as a boy,
to look into the eyes
of the Jesus that hung
with the voices of the chorus
in the cathedral

awe
fear
a prayer to sprout wings;
memory and feeling
maybe even precognition
touched his hands-
as that well sharpened chisel
touched flesh

where there once stood a monster
cried an angel

when the time came
to paint devils
he would not hesitate;
as a boy
he found a wounded bird
and crushed the life from it.
he realized we are like god-
our hands can create and destroy

awe
fear
the little death in his palm;
memory and feeling
maybe even precognition
touched his hands-
as that well sharpened chisel
touched flesh

where there once stood a weak man
raged a devil

like the playwright
who becomes his characters,
the Artist became
not unlike his portraits-
ink and blood flowed as one
always there was suffering.
every strike of the hammer
to that well sharpened chisel
shook his bones and rattled his teeth
just as they did mine
striving to tell the Truth
in the most honest way-

till where there once stood an Artist
wept a dying man

09/25/2001

Posted on 09/25/2001
Copyright © 2020 Richard Paez

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Michele Schottelkorb on 03/24/04 at 12:44 AM

the polarity of life and death, you paint a portrait well... i too think the repitition within, makes for awesome flow without... that which we put in comes back out again and vice versa... the "artist" is a circle of life... for the talent a price is paid... this is what i see... brilliant piece that stirs the mind and saddens the heart with it's melancholy overtone... blessings...

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