Gauguin’s Maiden

Last night I awoke to find myself in a painting by Gauguin
a Polynesian maiden with a flower in my hair
dark skinned dark haired only just clad
amid lush vibrant colors

Comfortable in my world
on his canvas

As he painted he drank and reminisced
of early youth in Lima, Peru
where fatherless and poor
he became obsessed with creating
and creation

Our champion in Primitivism
he shunned the European life of artifice and shallow convention
void of inspiration

Where do we come from?
What are we?
Where are we going?

He asked

His answers delivered
through the stroke of a brush
the lashing of color
the consumption of demon whiskey in the birthing
of modern art

transported us all

He left us too soon at 54
afflicted with syphilis
on his way to prison sentenced
for challenging the Catholic church on our behalf
so that we might have the freedom
to ask and answer
these questions for ourselves

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