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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 9, Number 3, September 2015

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Peter Butler
London, England


Stolen in Oils

It is just a small study in oils of a gloomy Victorian alley, by an unfamiliar young artist. But past the houses in the foreground is a strong, inviting glow at the far corner of the picture. What secrets are round that corner, what or who is there, and why? The artist does not return my calls. I need answers. What causes this inviting glow? Something is happening there. I need to know. I obsess.

a robin sings to sunrise
she daubs
hearts on a cloud

A week later the picture is on the floor. The exhibition is closing. I pick it up, tuck it under my coat, catch a bus. It wriggles under my coat as, stepping off, I slip into a gutter and break a knee. When I try to pick it up, the painting is scratched beyond repair, its once glowing corner torn, blackened.

Too late, I realize the artist is not be parted from her secrets.

end of an affair
she daubs
browns and grays

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end

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