“IRRITATING”

The best art arrives like the worst itch.
It is unreachable without stripping past
all the layers that stand in your way;
Most often, in public and all over, inside and out.
After you locate its source, the itch retreats—
so that you stand naked, scratching at nothing,
except the ghost of experience or a mite so minute,
that you stand there looking the fool
until it transmits to everyone looking.
It becomes a nervous tick, done in dream.
After a while, half the world tries
to scratch the same itch as you—
but by then, you’ve probably moved on to other itches
in other places from other people
and it will take a long while for the lookers and scratchers
to catch on to this new infestation.
Sometimes, it isn’t until your own death
when the mite finally crawls out from you
through a nostril, tear duct, or open wrist.
It will leap onto and tunnel under the skin
of whomever comes around to inspect your remains.

The best art arrives lightning quick
by the trigger of a nerve, begging you to stop
whatever it is you’ve been spending your time doing
and scratch at this; your masterpiece;
Red, festering, and infectious.

narrative poem written on 05-09-2011 by: on mattkane.com
view image of poem

SHARE THIS POEM!

- Remove line breaks