Years ago Van Gogh the marksman
hijacked a low flying plane and
forced its pilot to fly to the sun:
a few Dutch masterpieces were all that survived,
a few flakes of experience,
trapped on the wing.
His canvas bleeds,
black gun lies frozen by his side.
His heart falls
from the butcher's cart,
onto the infested street
and in his paint
metal vultures skid,
stirring it up again.
*The original inspiration for this poem came from a chance observation of what looked like a sheep's heart lying in the middle of a Newcastle street. Evidently fallen debris from a passing vehicle, its blood spattered the road as cars darted over and around it. The following quotation from Artaud's essay 'Van Gogh, the man suicided by society' discovered shortly after the completion of the poem is also relevant: 'Van Gogh was terribly sensitive. To be convinced of this just look at his seemingly panting face, which is also, from certain angles, the spellbinding face of a butcher.'