“Out of the Picture” by Lou H. Second

A painter lives in my town. A talented painter
no doubt. A famous painter too. His creations
have been known to save souls and to bestow
one upon those who never had any.


His opus is all over houses, walls, monuments.
One of his best creations exalts my living
room, a four-by-three-foot beauty, made of
brushed drunkards debating in a clandestine bar.


And sometimes the painter speaks.


It is the first time I hear the painter speak. I wish
I hadn’t. He kind of sounds like an ass. Full of
resentment, I come home and peel off the paint
that is filling the mouths of the characters in my
beautiful painting. My living room is less grandiose
but, hey, they called for it.


And sometimes I see the painter. I am still mad
when I see him walk clumsily in the street with
a satisfied smirk on his face. Still, I decide to wave
at him. The painter sees my salute and I wish
he hadn’t. In response, he flips me off.


Full of resentment, I come home and peel off the
paint drawing the hands of the characters in my
beautiful painting. My living room is less grandiose
but, hey, they called for it.


And sometimes the painter drives.
And sometimes the painter writes.
And sometimes the painter falls in love.
And sometimes the painter falls out of love.
And sometimes the painter can’t paint anymore.


My living room looks dreadful now, with a glorified
piece of wood on the wall, only marked with the
scratches of my resentment for the artist. The paint is
gone. So I drive around town to get a new one.


And the walls of the town are just scratches.
And the monuments are just scratches.
And the private collections are just scratches.
And the painter is not a painter anymore.
And everyone thought he called for it, I guess.


So I start to peel off my skin,
hoping my soul is still untouched.


Lou is a French poet who has spent the last decade in London/UK and Brussels/Belgium. After working in a different field for a few years, he decided to fully focus on creative work in 2021. His work has recently appeared in The Dillydoun Review.

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