Sunflower Man.

What right have I to speak of starvation
when my tongue has never tasted the bitter flavours
of coffee and bread,
and the acids which formed when i had nothing
but a piece of tobacco and a draught of absinthe
to call a meal,
when my limbs refused to move from hunger.

How do I sob in apparent misery
when my face is not smeared with black coal,
my bones do not tremble with the cold
and my body has not shriveled like a withered flower,
circling the black abyss of death,
with nothing but the will to continue blooming
to keep me from plummeting into its depths.

My hands do not whirl in a frenzy of passion.
Look at them,
they could just as well be the blue hands of a corpse-
they have so little to say,
to show,
to create,
to give birth to;
they have no urgency,
no reason,
no fervour
and they scarcely do anything worthwhile,
much less allow themselves to be burned
by the flame of a lamp,
out of a desperate yearning
which would nearly kill me.

My feet, so clean.
What do they know
about walking miles without proper footwear,
carrying the weight of a haggard, sick body,
cloaked in nothing but tatters,
through the cold
for the sake of a consuming love
from which one derives nothing but scorn,
and spite,
in rejections
that ooze with disgust and disappointment
until my love is no more than a cause for shame.

How dare I try to paint
without spending eight years surviving on nothing
but my thirst to do so,
while being stabbed and beaten by words and glares
which pierce my soul and leave it bruised;
scarred beyond repair.

How can I pick my brush up
and coat it in paint I have not yet learned to love,
to respect,
to worship,
to treat with more reverence than i do my own blood.

What audacity must I have
to attempt to pity myself
for a loneliness which does not exist
for I am not lonesome;
no, not unless I am locked in an asylum
and conformed to high walls
within which the only normalcy is insanity
and reality is a mere illusion
which evasively exists
between my nightmares and hallucinations.

What entitlement do I assume
to everything I have,
when I have not spent the entirety of my life wishing,
and dying for it.

The man who has never been miserable has nothing to paint about.
-Lust For Life


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