In Colour

I think I understand what you mean when you say you see yourself as a canvas.

Life paints its hues on you, yellow, green, and blue

splatters overlapping, no hierarchy, just base.

I made a mess. I make them often.

You can call it a Pollock if you look past the pity.

I was talking to a yellow boy with a camera slung by his breathing breast;

yellow boy making sickly green with us,

black bouncer telling us we couldn’t take the pilsner out.

Green in the ginger man who couldn’t understand consent,

but was clearly a soft soul, could say confused.

Confusion was the colour orange,

and I was looking for confusion of the best kind.

I tasted the rusty streetlight red as I sucked the stale spliff in, dirt crunching

underneath my workman boot.

I saw colours in the distance, a vision,

and had strokes laid upon me, completely different.

The cacophony of colours beyond were soiled by the splatters —

but my own hands are still soaking from my impressions.

I touched many easels tonight myself.

I was as many colours as the ones I encountered,

and we shared tones and tales, us palette pioneers.

Space only asks to have space within its own space within its own and so on;

brush strokes overlap in their own and so on.

I didn’t want to perturb any papers with my wet wash whims,

and yet, and yet

my wrinkles and worries and wishes and wanderings were laid bare on my skin

and fleshed tongue, the words I posed were primer for the paste.

Impromptu, improvitu, tu peux être.

I can lick the sweaty, throbbing mass of caked crap and ‘could haves.’

That is the big piece I’m working on for the show:

When one day lights dim and fluorescents fade for a final finish

and I can be framed on a pillory so pretty, like

a grand gesture in one gallivant of a ‘life.’

Or maybe even, when I go

you can just pick my cracked canvas and throw your own mix on.

Let the treasures of times idleness dance like dips of pigment in clean water,

watch them cloud the scope, kaleidoscope ticks on the little white hand watch;

no omittance.

Illustration by Sumi Siddiqa