“We Are All Van Gogh” by Djelloul Marbrook

We are all Van Gogh

I am the hairshirt you refuse to wear,
where did you put my left ear?

I don’t really need to know. Truth is
we all have an asymmetrical face.

You’re all those visits from icy mummies
I vainly waited for on Sunday afternoon.

Has it turned to amber in a jewel box?
Which of your lovers will throw it out

or will it be the maid who ripped you off
and lived it up back in Puerto Rico?

Here all the one-earred mutants pretend
some important person heard them,

so why then do they slosh in bloody shoes
to party with wary strangers, and why

inquire endlessly about that sinister ear
knowing how little we want to hear?

This is the world of bandaged Van Goghs
running out of sunflowers and starry nights.

Djelloul Marbrook is the author of two poetry books, Far from Algiers(2008, Kent State University Press, winner of the 2007 Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize and the 2010 International Book Award in poetry) and Brushstrokes and Glances (2010, Deerbrook Editions); and four books of fiction: Guest Boy(2012, Mira Publishing House CLC, Leeds, UK), Saraceno (2012, Bliss Plot Press), Artemisia’s Wolf (2011, Prakash Books, India), and Alice Miller’s Room (1999, OnlineOriginals.com, UK). His poems have been published by American Poetry Review, Barrow Street, Orbis (UK), From the Fishouse, Oberon, The Same, Reed, Fledgling Rag, Daylight Burglary, among others. His fiction publishers include Orbis (UK) and Potomac Review. He maintains a lively blog and facebook presence. A retired newspaper editor and Navy veteran, he lives in New York’s mid-Hudson Valley with his wife Marilyn.

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2 thoughts on ““We Are All Van Gogh” by Djelloul Marbrook

  1. Wonderful poem! I especially love:

    “…so why then do they slosh in bloody shoes
    to party with wary strangers, and why

    inquire endlessly about that sinister ear
    knowing how little we want to hear?”

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