Or Have…

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I imagine van Gogh in the asylum

staring out his window, painting Starry Night.

It’s sometime in June of 1889

Poor Vincent is a pauper. He’s lost his mind.

He’ll be dead in a year and he’s only sold

one of his paintings. His world is lonely. Cold.

A nurse walks in with a fresh set of linens.

The artist turns ’round and asks her opinion.

“Quite nice,” she lies, smoothing out her wrinkled smock,

avoiding eye contact with the lunatic

in this room as she does with all the others.

“Do you see the divine pattern?” he inquires.

The nurse grunts, but doesn’t look up from the bed.

As she changes the sheets, Vince clutches his head.

“It’s like cream in coffee or smoke in the wind,

occurring naturally time and again.

Nature, mathematics … they follow the same rules.

A Fibonacci sequence is a spiral,

pi will corkscrew out into infinity

and I was filled with sublime sanguinity

when I learned our galaxy is expanding.

Have you heard of Galileo?” A bell rings.

The door opens and an orderly enters

carrying a straitjacket and sedative.

The nurse holds her nose as she dumps the bed pan.

I’ve taken this poem as far as I can…


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