Sit Still Until I Finish Your Portrait


will i always digress?  i think so
impossible not to
as i am
a wistful type

and forgetful

i only wanted
to watch you.


first love always begins
with this sincerity, 
perhaps because
its earnestness 
curtails my other desire 
to possess.

what is the point
of so much silence?

let's talk about something else:
let's reimagine a story
where we both
say the right thing
at the right time

i've seen you do it before

i swear,
it is a sure thing

stop turning around

try to believe me


can i have some more?  it's so good.
for once i don't feel so empty

less is a lexeme
that keeps coming back
and over

it is the perfect example
of something regretful:
i know what i did

to get us where we are now.
look, i don't feel good about it

i was bored stiff. that's why
i was so distant and agitated;
why i looked so small. it's why
i noticed someone else across the room,
just the kind of guy 
i like. 

be jealous.
i liked you that way, too

you know it anyway,
that you're really cute?
are you blushing? you are too.
so then who
is in charge here? not
you.  you
seem out of it tonight,
you look like
you had a bad day

those wet lashes

i didn't think

that you would ever
get so hooked,
that you would make
so much of things

but tell me you wouldn't
have done exactly the same
if you were me

tell me


"you're not sad out of the blue.
there have to be reasons."

 there's a reason.

"come on."

 i'm coming.

"stop torturing yourself."

 it's over. all settled.
 i'm sorry. i swear i am.


i'll finish my drink first,
then i'll come. i'll watch
first, then i'll come.

so i followed you
out of the bar. i followed you
into a bar. i followed
a crocodilian instinct
i had about you.

why are you here
all alone? being good.
your type is so rare,
that's why i followed you.

i followed you
because you have a pretty name,
in latin it means

i could be so serious back then

only cared about art and language
i didn't know much,
but i liked it.  all of it
especially egon schiele,
picasso and schiele. i'm lousy
at english, so i linger on the art
and only watch movies with subtitles.
in fact, i love english actually.
oh i can't remember.
anderson, scorsese, aronovsky,
i could go on
but i'll try not to.

am i even allowed to be here?
i wont talk
more than five minutes.
i'll just get that dead look
in my face.

doesn't it make you happy?
i so rarely
do anyone else's portrait.
"the mysterious weakness
of men's faces"
and that sort of thing. instead
i have obsessed myself
with richter. it does me good.
the rigorousness
of his brush strokes,
those wide commitments.


how does that look?
it's strange because it's you
and it isn't you.
i have to go.

you don't have to like it.

someone wolf-whistled
on my walk home.


i always prefer to be clear.
but don't tell me
to relax.
you just jumped
down my throat
do you realize? when
you mentioned

a pathological scruple
and what is that? does that
mean gravity? like how
everything in nature
is perverted, and vice versa.
the opposite
of right-mindedness.

"are you following any of this?"

i can follow this, i am
living this.
i'm alive and
i will do anything

really its scary

"so you're voracious?"

you can't even imagine.

"i can see."

can you see me
clearly, i don't want to know.
it's nice
being here.
a little too nice.
that smile.

i admit
i was shaking
i was tired
but i didn't give up

i told my bones to go
i went 

big words. to love.


i am still studying the anguish
in schiele's oeuvre.
those delicate nudes,
emaciated and grotesque,
in such unlikely positions.

twisted, obscure,
something very dark.

i've tried to keep that out
of your portrait
but it never works. 

better not
to tell it
slant, actually

better to embrace
one's own disfigurements
with an emotional directness
that makes others want
to look away

pleasure being so obvious,
and so obviously tangential
to torture

is it ever possible
for pleasure to be shared?
unlike pain,
it is not a competition

even my portraits
are really

it is part
of my wistfulness

5 thoughts on “Sit Still Until I Finish Your Portrait

  1. Really good writing! But don’t be upset if I say that I find it far too long. Meaningful writes are hard to swallow in big chunks … but maybe that is me. You might make 3 peoms from this one and they would still be good ones x

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