I use to be a painter.
Spent years studying the masters.
Spent years painting things that never existed.

I am a poet, now.
I embed my experience in typeface.
Structured surrealism in sentences.

Ambivalence is a rough file,
rubs skin raw
unless it’s used on callouses.

I created the file to cut through
the imprisoning bars of limited thought
and the boundaries of invisible boxes.

But here I sit.
Self-imposed blood stains
spot a white cotton shirt.

All because attention’s price tag
was a bit too high
and the opportunity costs too great.

I mean, I meant to go to the rally
to free children held at the border,
but…but…I lost track of time.

I mean, I was in a tanka
with crows feet and hollow bird cages
and Death at an easel, painting a landscape.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

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