The Devil and The Artist


It was on a cool winter day

when the wind shifted blue and swift,

that I met a man who said he knew my name

shivering cold in a bus stop kiosk.

This man, in tattered suit and tie

pressed his hand to my shoulder,

and pleaded I show him the place that I live,

as he shook like the revelation.

In a moment of weakness, I took his hand

and led him to the small place I stayed at,

with it’s dingy curtains, my little home,

my little ray of sun in which to rest.

He moved, not rude, to the room

where stood there a half done woman

smooth bare flesh, icy limbs, stoney breast

the beginning of a hand at the end of a wrist.

He slinked like a spider to a couch and sat

and said nothing. I tried to tell what it was

that made me let him in, but instead

I went

to work


And talked of this great shining world inside me

threatening to burst from under my skin

if I should let it stand like water

If I did not let it free

and he talked

Of the silence inside him

his blackened inside from freezing snow

of his scraping hollow fingerbones

of the hunger of his slowly starving heart

and I cut the stone of her flesh and listened

as he told me of things no one could know

of the cutting fall and the urn of his belly

like a sieve filling up and leaking

shaking and spraying

all who stood near.

So we did not eat, and, when the sun went down

I gave in a place on the couch

where I knew he would not be

in the morning.


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