After a Disappointing Gallery Opening

I want art that’s got a kick. Something more
than mists and mellow fruitfulness. I want art that
screams its intelligence in neon-letters, all-caps, “I AM BRILLIANT”

I want art that asks hard-hitting questions like
“How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?”
and “How will the world end, Water World or Mad Max?” I want art that

won’t let me relax, hand wrapped around my throat, tongue slicing my arteries,
bleeding plasma over the brilliant orange moon, dirge for a season with only
rough corn and bitter harvest wheat beer vomited onto the sidewalk, sulfuric

seraphim blessing external organ sculptures of the slaughtered land, I want art hard
as a Biblical plague, boils and blood bursting wine-red on my tongue,
drowning me in second-born laughter, happy accident of birth,

I want big brass jazz band tomorrows, heaven a flesh-born
orgasm of the here and now, I want a love-song life like
an old Scottish ballad: boy meets girl, girl poisons boy, boy dies

excruciating death cursing all relatives to wander the road until the crows
peck out his eyeballs, leaving only bone and agony reflecting in the milk-
white of the pale moon, I want to dissolve into the mist and steam

over Main Street, floating into visions of Delhi and all her polluted saffron
sorrow, sun descending through the smog-wrecked sky, blood-red dot
disappearing before it sets, I want relentless violence

crushing black boughed beauty, pink petals
pulverized and forgotten in the deep
waters of Babylonian woe.

Sam Reichman is a visual artist, poet, and performer. He received his undergraduate degree in Middle Eastern Studies from Columbia University. After graduating, Sam worked in human rights and forced migration before studying drawing and painting at The Art Students of League of New York. He later completed his MFA in poetry at Hunter College. His work has appeared in ArabLit Quarterly and Rappahannock Review. Sam has also performed and shown his visual work in the United States and India with organizations including Joe’s Pub, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Las Laguna Gallery, and Artefix New York, among others.

Appears In

Issue 11

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