Genuine Fakes and Other Poems


Genuine Fakes

the docent said, pointing to a wall. Paintings and drawings
someone figured would do.

It makes a life, I thought, this redoing what
not that long ago some great, almost-to-great someone did.
It passes the time. And certain ways
with eye and brush and pencil deserve a resurrection.


Beauty is such a crapshoot. And repetition replays
the sun again, whatever. The gung-ho illusion
that it rises. Of course weather makes a difference, rain
or snow the wee hours just before
where the moon might be. And if Orion is back
from that other hemisphere
tilting, perpetually amazed his dog’s reduced to a star.


The human genius of reproducing not quite exactly.
What outrageous lengths taken, making paint from a new tube
look old—or raising children, for that matter.
He heats up a hot plate in an old pigsty or in a garage
off an ordinary suburban yard, a mess of mad
chemistry going on, the forger wearing goggles like
pilots on airmail stamps from the ’20s fly straight
into clouds as any artist would,
dreaming of Caravaggio.


Weren’t our genes stamped out mostly
again and again the same when our parents by accident or design
lay down after the argument? Until it took.
The usual translation: two arms, two legs. I’ve been told
I look like my mother, a thing neither of us
much believed.


I don’t know. Pick up a pen and those hundreds of
dull and ravishing words used to death
flood back. Does it matter who speaks first? Honor everything.
And shred and merge and burn.
Please log in to access the full content.
If you are new to Narrative, signing up is FREE and easy.