THE ARTIST

  femm fatale

                         Femme Fatale by Kees Van Dongen

                     THE ARTIST

The artist is a liar
About painting only what he sees
In front of him.
Slick lies of seduction slipping from his lips,
Falling from his tongue,
Like leaves falling from a wintered tree.
He tells so many lies
It’s a wonder he doesn’t go blind.

That naked breast she offers
On fingers thin and sharp as boning knives
Is not offered for free.
Painting the aureole so dark
Only the juice of damsons could create
Such a full, rich, bruising.

This dance hall dame, remote and lethal,
Puts no value on any part of her body.
It’s all for sale
For a wad of the folding stuff.

The artist rhapsodised about her hair,

Her eyes, her implacable face.
But no-one on earth could mistake
That sullen, knowing mouth
For the mouth of a woman
Who has given in to seduction.

I’ll say!
That’s the mouth of a woman
Keeping her trap shut
And counting the money.

The artist is a liar,
Telling so many lies
It’s a wonder he doesn’t go blind.
Certain that this painting is so beautiful
People will fight to have it on their wall.

When, all the time, he knows he has painted
Her ancient and watchful soul,
All bandaged about with suffering.

                             ©2019 Gwen Grant

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