but my head is full of paint.
No easel or studio or palette
or woman on a bed or fruit
for a still life because I only
wish that I could sit still long
enough to care about the still
lives of fruit, how their skins
touch, how I could add some
grapes for a little symbolic
splash of the blood of Christ or
maybe a few peaches in the mix
to hint at fertility or whatever I
see fit because it’s not real life.
No, I’m more abstract
not in a delicate, intentional kind of way
not dribbling paint
with a cigarette in the corner of my mouth letting
fall on the canvas
and mix with the paint and channel all that chaos into arbitrary
powerful surges of energy and existence and what people call
manliness. No, I don’t paint
with that confidence. I don’t even own a brush.
I prefer to gush colors
that I didn’t know existed
until they streamed down my face
until I squeezed their tubes straight
onto the canvas -- Alizarin Crimson,
Yellow Ochre, Phthalo Blue -- I start
scraping them desperately with my palette knife,
wounding the canvas,
exposing what’s underneath that blank
white. I think I’m finding its true colors
so when I realize that they’re mine
I keep scraping and
until it all turns brown then black.
I don’t plan to sell.
I’ll give it to you for free, please.
I’ll even pay you to take it
just so long as you can interpret it for me
and tell me what all this means.
Hailing from Irvine, California, Rachel Higson just graduated with an English writing major and art history minor from DePauw University in Greencastle Indiana. She loves to skateboard, run, surf, paint, and snowboard. She has written over 14 articles for an online ethics magazine, the Prindle Post. Publishing three of her poems with A Midwestern Review, DePauw's literary magazine, before becoming its poetry editor and editor-in-chief, Rachel has pursued poetry throughout her college career. As a Fulbright recipient, she will spend the next year in Taiwan. Eventually, Rachel will go to graduate school for either writing or sociology, hoping to become a professor.