Gauguin's Chair

On Gauguin's chair, a candle and some books
replace the artist whom he can't recapture.
His absence fills the far from empty nooks
and crannies of his mind, recalling rapture
his paintings still evoke, although they parted
with differences they could not reconcile.
The emptiness makes him downhearted
but helped him to develop his own style
before they took him to St.-Paul St. Remy, ,
because his lifestyle had become eccentric.
Could he have wondered, “When will people pay me? ”
while doctors labeled him as egocentric.

Van Gogh's panting of Gauguin's chair (1888) hangs in the same room as The garden of St. Paul de Mausole, St. Remy. I underscore the emptiness of the chair by omitting any mention of Van Gogh's name.


by gershon hepner

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