A student of art observed
the cajones of Picasso,
the absurdity of Klee.
Something between the lines, the strokes
told without words.
Visual poems could wing to an eagle's nest on Jupiter
with no birds or planets.
A search followed
as without, so within. Sienna browns, washed out golds
of Conte crayon, and bleeding watercolors.
A subject proved evasive. The student's paltry skills
were consistently outstripped by a snow-capped mountain
or a dusky meadow.
In the negative spaces of the human form,
a mocking genius frowned.
Then one winter day,
in the basement of a woodland house,
the student viewed a rat's skull smiling behind a cinder block wall.