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32 the minnesota review Dorothy Barresi Van Gogh Among the Poor On The Subject of His Art (deferred) Teli me Theo, have you ever changed a man's bandage? Blood has a way of clinging to what it knows, the gauze of tiny rectangles, a healing geometry. Then to pull back the wrapping from an infected man! This is like looking into a furnace with its small door blown back: colors rage in the body, nearly tropical (you cringe, I know). Outside this room there are only two colors, smoke ending, and smoke beginning. A woman drags her bucket to the river. Blackthorn hedges scrawl my name in the snow. What are the wretched to me, you've asked, who could have been anything, artist or banker, draftsman decently fed and warm? At night I take off such ragged clothes, but coal-caked, I swear they hold my shape a moment, halfcollapsing on the human floor. That is the poor, Theo, with me when I sleep, or dreaming wake to hear a sound like wind across a river of glass. That high persistent calling. It is no use writing against me brother, or sending Pastor Van Gogh. I call this home where we wash the dead with soap of lye and ashes, then bowing twice to Him who makes all suffering possible, believe we are cleaner for the burning. In the moment of clarity called pain Barresi 33 I tell you I have cauterized the angels in my hands and set my hands to better work. I have entered the house of affliction singing. ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2157-4189
Print ISSN
0026-5667
Pages
pp. 32-33
Launched on MUSE
2011-07-06
Open Access
No
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