No one is enlightening
this mass of all masses.
Everywhere I look,
the paintings are in a language
my inner voice can’t translate.
I feel as if my eyes are pushing
a wheelbarrow up a rocky incline.
“Excuse me,” I say to whoever
“Why can’t art slow down a little?”
But the artist cannot wait,
doesn’t give a damn
about we paid-up members
of the wine-and-cheese brigade.
I’m staring at a canvas
of broken mirrors,
I have to accept the fact
that whoever created this
knew what they were doing.
They have the education in cataclysm,
diplomas in megalomania.
I relate silently to them
between the jabbering heads,
how none of the work is this exhibition
does anything for me.
But they emerge from the crowd,
the paint from their next work
already dripping down their hands.
Maybe teeth with wings this time.
Why not a nude with push-carts for breasts.
Why not a misplaced audience:
the wine madly splattered by a toilet plunger,
the cheese, a collage of blank faces.
John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Soundings East, Dalhousie Review and Qwerty with work upcoming in West Trade Review, Willard and Maple and Connecticut River Review.