The Black Paintings | Poetry | Hudson Valley | Hudson Valley; Chronogram

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The Black Paintings

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Silence is so accurate.

—Mark Rothko


An irrational impulse in a rational form, Nietzsche said. Or is it a rational

impulse in an irrational form? We make sense of it: like a disaster, a suicide.


The joke's on us: anybody could do that! You could do that.


The artist expressing how he felt at a particular moment in time: 3am in winter.


He was depressed. He was beyond depression.


He was searching in the darkness

for the inner light.

He found gradations of black,

from flat to pitch to pearl,

from dusk to night—

the opposite of blindness,

which can be white.


The work speaks for itself. Mum's the word.

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