Bluesman, by Pamela Mordecai

As we wind down September, I would like to share the poem, "Bluesman", by Pamela Mordecai, from her latest collection, Subversive Sonnets.


It have all kind: Pushkin, Dumas, and, him same one
say so, Vincent Van Gogh. Him tell him bro, Theo
to smoke a pipe: “Is a good tonic for de blues,
which take me over, dese days, now and den.”
Him reason: “How you figure folks see me?
A ragamuffin… lowest of de low.”
Him say: “Painters come like a family,
a mix-up mix-up bad for all o we
for everybody fighting the next one.”
Him tell Christina, “No mind you’s a whore
from where I sit, you irie, evermore.”
Him recommend: “Don’t yield before the end . . . ”
Blowing him mind with a wild brush like Miles.
Like Don painting the scene with him trombone.


*Van Gogh’s words are slightly adapted from his letters in
Vincent by Himself . ed. Bruce Bernard (London: Time Warner), 2004.

Copyright 2012 Pamela Mordecai.
Reprinted with author's permission.

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