Wild Court

An international poetry journal based in the English Department of King’s College London

The Curious Painter – David Shook

The Curious Painter

In Mexicali’s evening heat 
your boards thirst for gesso, 
acrylics dry in seconds, 
and no amount of Tramadol will dull the wicked sun. 

You find your models framed in motel doorways,
eye heels and legs in dingy lobbies, 
Oaxacan teens with kids back home, 
deported Cachanillas saving up to try again.

God must be an accomplished painter, Cervantes said
—or was it that the accomplished painter must be a god?

I wonder, is it painting them that makes you feel that power,
or the way they follow you back toward the bed where you’ll paint them, 
like they can smell the dollars in your wallet, 
or like it’s love? 

After‘Muestra su ingenio el que es pintor curioso…’