A Diseased Naked Psyche Poem


Tentative lines
with unintended inaccuracies:
a jaw line too broad, an eyebrow
arched beyond
the bounds of nature,
unnatural lips
held together
by the painter’s will.

I’m uncomfortable
observing this display
of someone’s artless
lack of intuition
and further dismayed
it’s better
than anything I could do.


24 thoughts on “A Diseased Naked Psyche Poem

  1. I remember the thrill of finishing a paint by number as a child only to feel the shame of having to explain it was only a paint by number upon hearing praise. That’s my sad story for the day, lol…

  2. Your first stanza reminds me of seeing the work of Lucien Freud, though in this artist’s case, the effect is intended.

    In the first stanza, I don’t so much see “Careful lines” as “Effort” having the “unintended inaccuracies”… the painter wills the painting but despite the effort gets it wrong.

    I find the second stanza a bit confusing. I’m reading the meaning more like this: “I am uncomfortable / painting with no numbers / to guide my hand, / show me something better I could do.”

  3. Oh, I love this! You tap into this reserve of forgotten and ignored insecurity, what I call “piece o’ sh*t syndrome”, that I bet many of us have deep inside.

  4. Interesting title…I’ll admit I wasn’t sure what to expect going in! Craziness to be sure…

    But it spoke, and in a manner I can relate to. There is nothing quite so unsettling as to look on a piece of work and think…”This really isn’t that good,” only to realize one’s own self could not do better…or even so well as it had. Painful, certainly…

  5. Thanks for your comments, all. The critiques helped me refine the poem. And the positive help me see the strong points. I intend “Ambition” as the actual title.

  6. I didn’t see the unrevised version, Matt, but I’m really liking this one–that “lack of intuition” is excellent–gives the piece bottom and strength, as you make the turn to the ending.

  7. Yes, it can be so easy to say I could do it better until we try to do it ourselves, walk in the other person’s shoes so to speak. I like the way you built up to that.

  8. I like this too. I come upon pieces that are surprising and yet off kilter, brilliant in imagination, but clumsily executed. At first you observe its faults and then its genius. That’s when you (the observer) back off and know you don’t even “think that way” and sigh………..

  9. Oh! I didn’t see anything as “paint by numbers”….I just saw a painter, observing another painting, so off in nature….with obvious issues.

    I loved this…In fact, my exclamation at the end surprised me and the surrounding cats!

    I think this is Brilliant! Strong and sparce in words, imagery, and it makes it stronger.

    (I remember being in a London Museum, and watching a painter paint a copy of some religious scene….and seeing what was off kilter….and biting my tongue! LOL!….I still see what he was missing….and it’s been 21 years ago!)

    Lady Nyo

  10. unnatural lips
    held together
    by the painter’s will…speaks to me of art/poetry/life that is forced and doesn’t seem to come naturally…it should be much more about discovering and carefully carving what already exists…i like it matt

  11. I so can relate…I can not paint or draw a thing..but some art in viewing is almost painful…yet who I to judge…your words expression that moment of pondering so well…bkm

  12. The wryness of this — the understanding that, for some of us, a flawed painting or sculpture is still better than we can do. Great poem, Matt.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s