Drops of Paint

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He opened the door
and slowly entered the house.
The quiet creak of each floorboard
as he passed above
gave hint that he was there.
To those below,
he was something monstrous
something treacherous
something evil.
But to him
he was someone confused
someone scared
someone lost.
Trembling hands reached
to the cellar door.
Locked out.
Locked in.
Both sides
striving for the same thing.
their life.
He yanked, tugged and pulled.
They, too.
His hands
strong, used
urged the door open.
They saw the glint
shining from his hand
as he notices the glint
shining in their eyes.
He was disgusted with himself.
But he knew what he had to do.
He was a painter,
choosing his pallet,
while holding his brush.
But when the first drop of paint hit the canvas,
His masterpiece had begun.
Rhythmically,
he swept his brush along the paper.
Before he knew,
his actions had become art.
As he headed back above.
He left them in the cellar below.
He knew the only way
to save himself
Was to spill some paint
and create something
grotesquely marvelous.

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19 thoughts on “Drops of Paint

  1. This was quite tantalizing. So vivid and yet so broad-stroked in the intent: who was which, and who needs redeeming and why? Also I wonder about the grotesquely marvelous masterpiece and wish there were a visual aid… Whether as a standalone piece or as a lost chapter to a more intricate whole, this scratched/knocked/entered my mind.

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    1. My purpose was to leave the reader questioning what would compel him to do what he did. It’s about a murder, but the murderer wasn’t fully confident in what he was doing as he entered the house, yet when got to the cellar and he began, it overcame him, like a painter painting a masterpiece. The poem is written vaguely to draw inferences. There were only “him”- the murderer and “them”-the victims.

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      1. O. An interesting approach then. I caught a sense of something monstrous, but I didn’t think of murder. I assumed it was something abstract and tangential, like a Twilight Zone from the 60s where the terrible things weren’t “real” or of this world. Must just be my own influences though. Hope I didn’t make you feel insulted by my misinterpretation.

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      2. Churning our monsters into magic can feel like a violent criminal act, committed with brush, pen, keyboard, or whatever. You’ve captured the moment of creation in this poem, between genius and insanity. Should it be called murder, creation, or art? Better yet, call it, “grotesquely marvelous.”

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Exactly. There’s a fine line between insanity and genius and between creating and destroying. How do you know when that line has been crossed? Thank you for your comment!

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  2. it’s fascinating how you’ve described the way in which the man’s mind is working. how he sees himself simply as someone lost and confused. your words have painted a very detailed and vivid picture for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I first thought it was a poem about a Nazi discovering hiding Jews, in part because of the painting,
    He was disgusted with himself.
    But he knew what he had to do.
    Then the change, yet in someway not different. Excellent.

    Liked by 1 person

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