Poem “Van Gogh in Auvers” in Catalyst 16

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My poem “Van Gogh in Auvers” is in Catalyst 16. I am grateful to the editors.

 

Van Gogh In Auvers

 

Auvers is the end

of the journey

the final spiral

downwards

 

you wanted to be closer

to Theo, but Paris is too hectic,

too busy, so you come to

Auvers where

 

Gauguin, Pissaro, & Cezanne

preceded you

 

everything

gets a little bit

crooked

& blotched

& less precise

among the cottages with

thatched roofs & wheat fields

with crows

 

the air ripples around you

everything grows hazy

 

you slip away

 

Joanne Fisher

 

 

 

Please donate! 🙂

 

 

©2019 Joanne Fisher

The Last Days of Van Gogh (poem)

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The Last Days of Van Gogh

 

 

I believe this is a fact:

the only artist that is truly appreciated

is a dead one

for there is a finite number

of completed canvasses stacked in

dry cellars for the art dealers

to handle

 

a live artist has too many infinite

possibilities & versions to try

I have said this many times

to my brother Theo

 

*

 

I am translating this world

its landscapes, buildings & people

& myself amongst it

 

I want you to see the shifting layers:

the cobalt blues, chromium yellows,

emerald greens, & vermilions

that are pressed into the canvas,

the crooked churches, the

tall dark cypresses, the sunflowers I

painted for Gauguin in the Yellow House,

the pine trees in the asylum

 

*

 

every canvas I paint is one less

variation or piece of night sky daubed

with large white blots of stars

 

I work in more & more of myself

until

 

I merge with the paints &

there is nothing left

 

*

 

Auvers is so real

the world is so real,

but so dull, unimaginative

& lacking understanding

 

I write to Theo: We can

only make our pictures speak

& I am risking my life for it

 

this is true

 

*

 

today I am painting a canvas

of yellow wheatfields & black

smudges of crows, there are three

pathways with no direction, no way

to escape

 

a dark storm

beckons

 

 

Joanne Fisher

 

 

This poem first appeared on my blog in December 2017.

 

 

©2019 Joanne Fisher

 

Van Gogh In Auvers (poem)

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Van Gogh, Cottages with Thatched Roofs and Figures (July, 1890)

 

Van Gogh In Auvers

 

Auvers is the end

of the journey

the final spiral

downwards

 

you wanted to be closer

to Theo, but Paris is too hectic,

too busy, so you come to

Auvers where

 

Gauguin, Pissaro, & Cezanne

preceded you

 

everything

gets a little bit

crooked

& blotched

& less precise

among the cottages with

thatched roofs & wheat fields

with crows

 

the air ripples around you

everything is shimmering

 

you slip away

 

Joanne Fisher

 

This is a poem I’ve been working on lately. I thought it was in a good enough state to publish here, but I find poetry is often never finished…

 

I consider this a companion piece to my poem The Last Days of Van Gogh.

 

Please support my blog! 🙂

The Potato Eaters

 

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The Potato Eaters by Vincent van Gogh (April, 1885)

it may seem we are stuck here

but we have a life to live

there are few pleasures for us;

the days seem long and the

nights short

the few moments we are together

under the light of a solitary gas lamp

that barely lights this family table

even in daylight dark shadows

lurk in the room

we eat these potatoes

ones that today I dug up

from the deep earth with my

raw hands, Cornelia pours

the coffee black and tasting

like grit then we wrap ourselves up

from the cruel night

through the holes in

the roof I see the dark sky

and bright burning stars

almost as far away as candles

lighting a rich man’s home

then a wind comes up

whistling through the brief night

we try to catch as much sleep

as we can

we need all our strength

for the sunlight when

we go back to work

digging up these tubers

from out of the stony earth

in the sunburnt fields

of Nuenen

 

Joanne Fisher

 

 

The Last Days Of Van Gogh (poem)

828
Wheat Field under Threatening Skies With Crows (July, 1890) by Vincent Van Gogh

I believe this is a fact:

the only artist that is truly appreciated

is a dead one

for there is a finite number

of completed canvasses stacked in

dry cellars for the art dealers

to handle

 

a live artist has too many infinite

possibilities & versions to try

I have said this many times

to my brother Theo

 

*

 

I am translating this world

its landscapes, buildings & people

& myself amongst it

 

I want you to see the shifting layers:

the cobalt blues, chromium yellows,

emerald greens, & vermilions

that are pressed into the canvas,

the crooked churches, the

tall dark cypresses, the sunflowers I

painted for Gauguin in the Yellow House,

the pine trees in the asylum

 

*

 

every canvas I paint is one less

variation or piece of night sky daubed

with large white blots of stars

 

I work in more & more of myself

until

 

I merge with the paints &

there is nothing left

 

*

 

Auvers is so real

the world is so real,

but so dull, unimaginative

& lacking understanding

 

I write to Theo: We can

only make our pictures speak

& I am risking my life for it

 

this is true

 

*

 

today I am painting a canvas

of yellow wheatfields & black

smudges of crows, there are three

pathways with no direction, no way

to escape

 

a dark storm

beckons

 

Joanne Fisher