poet's pose

Move on, leave, run away, escape this place… but don’t forget about me, about us, about this town. Always remember where you come from so you can appreciate how far you’ve come.
—  c.j.n.

Vincent Van Gogh made this portrait of Eugène Boch on or about September 1, 1888. It could have been a fine birthday present for this fellow painter whom he had been introduced to only two months earlier.
But it wasn’t. It was intended as a decoration for Vincent’s new home, the “Yellow House”. Van Gogh hung it in his bedroom.

“Ah well, thanks to him — at last I have a first sketch of that painting I’ve been dreaming about for a long time — the poet. He posed for it for me. His fine head, with its green gaze, stands out in my portrait against a starry, deep ultramarine sky; his clothing is a little yellow jacket, a collar of unbleached linen, a multicoloured tie.” (Letter 673, September 3, 1888).

In 1891, Theo Van Gogh’s widow gave the portrait to Boch, who was more than happy with the gift:

“I do not know how I can tell you, madam, how much I was touched by your present and how much pleasure it gives me: it is a beautiful work of art, but moreover a souvenir of Vincent, who I knew in Arles. I still remember the good moments which we had together there. Full of enthusiasm for art, for pure art ! This remains my most enduring thought about your brother-in-law.“ (Letter to Jo Van Gogh-Bonger, July 21, 1891)

Eugène Boch, a Belgian impressionist painter, was born on September 1, 1855. His older sister Anna was a founding member of ‘Les XX’, an important group of artists in its days.

Vincent Van Gogh, Eugène Boch or ‘The Poet’, September 1888. Oil on canvas, 60 x 45 cm. Musée d’Orsay, Paris

We are the Lost Girls
Nature is our tribe
We are the Wendy Darling’s of this world
Free spirited in heart and mind
We wear flowers as a badge across our chest
tiger lilies to be exact
We tell stories around the fire
Sing the lullabies of the sirens
Thimbles for kisses we trade
From fairy stardust we are made
We dance upon the beat of the clock
Tick Tock, Tick tock
Time doesn’t exist for us
We sail the ships
Through sparkling skies
Watch us fly
like Peter Pan
In a magical place called earth,
our Neverland

-Hanna Adams I. ©
Yoga sister Sam from Point Reyes.
Children’s Poetry ©

You claim to love her, inside and out, but the only time you call her beautiful is when it’s 3 in the morning and I’ve already turned you down.
—  girls tell each other everything, c.j.n.

Man’s Informal Robe with the Thirty-six Poetic Immortals
Period: Taishō period (1912–26)
Date: early 20th century
Culture: Japan
Medium: Silk, stenciled and paste-resist dyed
Dimensions: Overall: 50 3/8 x 49 5/8 in. (128 x 126 cm)
Classification: Textiles-Costumes
Credit Line: John C. Weber Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Description from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: “Representations of the Thirty-Six Poetic Immortals harken back to a literary canon established by the courtier Fujiwara no Kintō (966–1041). When portrayed in the handscroll format, individual poets—in distinctive poses, and with recognizable attributes—are separated from one another by inscriptions of their poems. In contrast, Rinpa artists gathered these isolated, iconic luminaries into a single scene, a convention followed in this informal man’s robe. The visually complex composition was produced through a dyeing process that initially involved using a stencil through which a rice-paste resist was applied, creating thin white outlines around most figures. Colors were then added to accentuate the presence of five poets in particular—notably, one of five female poets, who occupies a prominent position at the upper center of the back of the garment. Her figure, however, is slightly obscured by the men that surround her.”

Artemis:  I’d love to get a better look at the detail of this piece.    I’d go to the Met to see it but it isn’t on view.  :(

i’m in my prime,
not withering and old.
but i refuse to play
your wicked games any longer.

i know this tether is unbreakable,
but you make me feel like i’m interchangeable.
you drew a target on my heart,
when did this become fatal attraction?

i don’t have the strength,
the energy,
nor the patience
to be held hostage by your love.

so baby please don’t despair
when i say that
i’ve found the courage to
let you go.

you were never meant to be tied down in the first place.

—  believing i could love you was my mistake, c.j.n.
Why A White Poet Posed As Asian To Get Published, And What's Wrong With That
A white man called Michael Derrick Hudson used the name Yi-Fen Chou as a strategy to get published. Ken Chen of the Asian American Writers' Workshop in New York says the writer wanted to be "special."

Our Executive Director, Ken Chen on MDH, #WhitePenName, #ActualAsianPoet, and more.