under the influence

chekhov told him to remove everything
not the sculpture. albers led him to buy
all the red in the store. picasso hued
him like a harlequin to vanish like
a jet fighter. cornell asked for any
thimbles he might relinquish. huxley made
him forever rue all lighthouses. plath
ripped tulips and muttered derisively.
kandinsky kicked him to klee who shooed him
to tunisia for the light there. o’keefe
inveigled to revere her clitoris
or a jack-in-the-pulpit. fellini
winged him a pair of used clown shoes. beckett
uttered nothing but nodded to a tree.
cage pummeled him with un-played piano
keys. de kooning was up to his elbows
abstracting hands. gehry said wait for the
russian titanium dump. scorsese
then jump cut to incarnadine b-roll.
he daydreamt: lyre, mocking, mynah,
pushed regret passed his teeth and made art.

Ken Taylor lives and writes in North Carolina. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Chattahoochee Review, The Stony Thursday Book, elimae, MiPOesias, Whale Sound, Eclectica Magazine, The New Guard, Red River Review, Poets & Artists and OCHO. He is the winner of the 2011 Fish Publishing Poetry Prize.


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