The Problem of Hands
And how to fill them is the problem of cigarettes and paint. First time I felt my undoing was in front of a painting—Sam Francis, I believe. Oh, his bloomed out, Xanax-ed California. I liked the word guard, but you know we made each other nervous, standing too close for everyone concerned. All art being a form of violence as a peony is violence. Here you come with your open hands.
About this Poem
"In museums, I often attract the guards’ attention because I like to get very very close to paintings I love. I once fell in love with a man in the large white rooms of the Art Institute of Chicago, in large part due to the way his breathing changed when we stood too close. At its root, 'The Problem of Hands' is a poem about the brute power of desire—how it fills us—and it’s sister threat: that it can also cut us off at the knees."
— Louise Mathias
Louise Mathias is the author of The Traps (Four Way Books, 2013).
Date Published: 2013-11-20
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/problem-hands