Sunday Stew: Clover

by Larry Crist


Defeat lives in his eyes

he himself drew

mad, north by north-west

neither hawk nor handsaw

could say otherwise

The wealthy all want him in their parlors now

Vincent and his rich colors, lavishly laid on

they want his blues & yellows

his green yellows, red yellows, white & orange yellows

and especially his yellow yellows

his starry nights, ringed moons, awnings, canopies

his sunflowers, oozing gold

Paint he could ill afford, dabbed on

undiluted, pure, uncompromising

Laid on thick as he shivered and his stomach rumbled

as melancholia upped the ante, upped the stakes

Sower, plougher, shepherd, harvest, potato eaters

wagons in the snow, post man, old women, men

working stiffs & worn out whores

models from the salt-saturated earth

No Tahitian maidens, ballerinas or leisurely sundays in the park

Vincent’s people were in pain too

Sitting for him would have been

charity for the most part

Poor Theo, wondering what crazy thing will my crazy brother do today?

Theo had his own problems, with or without Vincent

One painting sold in his lifetime

A resounding failure, insane &

dead by his own hand at 37

Crazy enough to be an artist