Putting the Pain in Painting

Hey everyone! I’m back! College and life has been crazy, but I’m back to post some of the poems I’ve been writing in my poetry class. This one here is the first one I’ve written for this class and is my favorite so far. I hope you enjoy it too!

Portrayed among the wings of her gallery
lie tales and inscriptions of misfortune.
Each mark,
each crease,
each ridge,
each streak
tells its own story,
but all share a common theme
and desire to be center stage.

She paints her mind
upon porous canvas;
her paint and brushes,
not regarded safe.

Instead of depicting peace and beauty,
her strokes are derived from pain,
designing abstract slit and scratch.

Her creations stay always hidden,
sometimes by flax and thread,
often by elastic and dread.

Her art is her addiction
of which she is ashamed.

Her brushes,
she tries to dispose.

Her mind,
she tries to compose.

Her paint,
she tries to conserve.

Her canvas,
she tries to preserve.

But somehow,
one way or another,
the brushes always return,
and again, her palette spills.

There are many she consults
about her deadly inspiration,
relentless and enslaving,
persistent and enchaining.
Alternative ideas of expression
swarm her from all help’s sides,
but none have proven yet
a suitable replacement

Still, she paints her mind
upon her calloused paper,
her canvas torn and ragged,
paint dripping from the slashes.
Another composition she’s created.
Another disappointment she has hidden.

Crimson pigment lines,
cold, harsh grey of steel,
rubbery ridges
florid pink in hue,
on ecru parchment of wearied skin
hidden under fabrics of her kind.

Eventually, the paint fades,
and her canvas mends itself,
but not without leaving
seams and stains of misery.
Each of which attention’s claim
cause overwhelming shame.

-EC

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