I believe in Veronese’s golden ratio,
and ratios bronze and silver not yet discovered.
I don’t believe in the rule of thirds,
or fourths or fifths;
Stop hiding the subject.
I believe in the isolated eye-catch,
the vagrant smudge,
the deckled edge and the swelling fibers of paper soaking in water.
I honor the vulgar hue,
the arrogant glaze,
the sacrosanct shadow.
I trust the tug of bristled brush against canvas weave
and the plastic perfection of Koons.
I live by erasure and completion, obfuscation and extraction
but never dripped paint or collage.
Irresponsibility dulls the diamond-tip of reality.
I believe that lead type
and the severity of ideas
have taken five years off my life. I believe that number will grow.
I believe in coloring books and neighborhood flyers,
theme-park sand art and quilt fairs,
Rothko and Stella but not de Kooning or Warhol.
Bacon’s suffering is misplaced and Turner’s canvases too small.
In this leaking celestial world of ours,
we are the least interesting things
we can show other people.
I accept mythical whispers;
I know a thin veil hangs between
this reality and another. All art is sacred
and all creation is holy.
I don’t believe
that pictures can be true
But I do believe
in weeping at the foot of the Pietà.