something creative

                                   (click on the picture should it fail)

                         “Vase of Flowers, after van Gogh” (2009)
 
                                     Apollo
 
                                       ____
 
 
 
with my suggestion neatly tucked under
his arm, of asking for it $1200.00, 
Apollo 
set off to sell his painting, “Vase of Flowers,
after van Gogh”, the one which has been
gracing my
 living room wall for several
years now
, a convenient place where he
could store it, maybe even indefinitely, 
while he made room for other paintings
 

the deep rust table, upon which rests the

white marbled vase which holds the

signature sunflowers, matches a somewhat 

lighter shade of it on my wall,
Burning Bush
it’s called, a colour I chose recently for its
associations with the miraculous, to freshen
up that particular corner  
 
to also see a burning bush every morning,

however metaphorically, as I start my day 

 

 

not having any idea what it might fairly cost

when
Apollo asked for my opinion, something
he couldn’t do by himself for being too intimately

connected, at
an opera evening the following
night at my place I asked my three opera guests,

who were sitting, of course, before the very item,

what they thought

 

the next day in an e-mail I wrote 
 
        “since we’re all, you, me, my mom, Claude

          and Yolande, whom I’ve included in these 

          deliberations, in the same position,

          stumped with regard to a price, I thought 

          I’d simply put all our uninformed opinions

          together and divide by 5 

 

          Claude,     2000

          Yolande,   1200 

          my mom,    700

          me,           1000,  recently upped from 800 

          you,               ?,  which is to say abstention,

                                     so that 5, to be fair, 
                                     becomes 4
 
                            ____ 
                           4900 / 4 = 1225
  

 

          but I’ll accept 1200, should you honour

          my call 

 

          after all, it’s my wall 

 

 

          love

 

          me” 

 
 
 
perhaps“, he’d asked, “you can make a suggestion 
 
towards a solution …
 
I’ll hear from you with something creative
 
as is your usual style“, he’d written from his own
computer in his own idiosyncratic manner, after
the prospective buyer had been up to my place,
viewed dispassionately, I thought, the painting,
though he’d warmly admired my apartment, then
left with Apollo to, ultimately inconclusively at
that point as it turned out, talk cost
     
 
I thought I’d been accordingly creative, not
without some commensurate glee
 
and quivered at what might be the result of my
creation, though the work might, sadly, leave
its now impressive standing on my wall  
 
which I knew, however, Apollo, would never
leave deficient
 
nor, for that matter, would I    
 
 
I’m not ready to set a price on it if you can’t 
come up with one, the collector had told
 
which left Apollo in a fix, until the
serendipitous $1200.00 
 
this is what Richard said, he told the buyer,
who’d indeed fretted, with noteworthy
consideration, about my having
to lose the painting, unaware that
everything turns to dust, to my mind, little
by little dries up, even in one’s imagination,
if it is to be transformed into other magic
 
  
I’d countered that at the right price the
exchange would be a spur to the
burgeoning painter, ready to pursue his
muse with just a little even inspiration,
inspiration an admirer could express in,
notably, dollars  
 
but I’ll discount down to 900, Apollo said, 
ceding to his insecurities, since I know you 
 
I’ll buy it for 1000, the man said, I would’ve
payed 2000, and showed him a work they 
both deemed inferior for which he’d payed
that much 
 
do not, he said, underestimate yourself,
you are a talented artist
 
 
later, looking over the entire transaction,
I asked Apollo, when will you acquire more
than tremulous confidence
 
I’m working on it, he replied
 
what about now, I said, you’ll only be an 
artist when you call yourself one, own it,
do it, now
 
okay, he said, today I am an artist, and
raised his arms wide to the open sky,
appropriately, I thought, surrendering
himself, with giddy determination, to
inscrutable heaven       
 
 
Richard
 
 
 
 
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