Has it not occurred to anyone
that Monet might have done just as well
if he counted fence posts
or lined up all his shoes
instead of painting haystacks?
That his art was no so much
perspective as lack
of something to do with his hands?
Or that for Van Gogh, certain hues
of cobalt squealed at too high a pitch
when he painted and it was a choice
between the purity of refracted light
and the purgatories of sound?
And what about Bosch and Brueghel
and the claustrophobic closets of vision
not uncommon among those who must live
on margins of land reclaimed from the sea?
My son plucks jellyfish from construction paper.
He frees demons from lead that has cooled to a point,
from virgin reams of a bright white not of this earth.
Who says he will not be misunderstood
to be an artist, when he is simply trying
to assume the undertaker’s ease in collecting the bodies
that have fallen from the safe havens of the imaginary?