Butterflies and Fresh Paint

by Darryl Price

For Pearl

So radiantly a threat to them
are you, so radiantly a threat
you present, my dear, but between us

there is still that unspoken pact; just
one more song, please. So radiantly
you fill their cups with the beauty of

leaves and grapes. So radiantly your
small reassuring smile like a star
from a dream. So radiantly a

wild threat--horses running away with
our spare set of keys. Like butterflies
and fresh paint. Like an arm hung over

the side of a boat. So dangerous
and misunderstood, refined, ruthless.
So radiantly a threat something's

bound to get torn like a kite. But to
be fair it's a threat with shine on its
side. So radiantly a threat you

make to them I want to join in. So
radiant like I'll hardly laugh as
much again. TV angels came down from

heaven for a commercial look.
So radiantly a threat are you
that it names you the best answer yet

to the boldest questions of why. So
radiantly a threat to them I'm
instantly blasted out of my shelf.

Bonus poems:

Introduction to American Brush Painting/ An S.O.S. by Darryl Price


Whatever it is I was

Supposed to learn, Master, I

Have already forgotten it. Whatever

Good thing could have come


From my being here lost

Ground a long time ago.

Now they line up to

Spit in my paints with


Their fists doing the talking.

My poems are plucked and

Scattered or stuck into hatbands

As a joke. Whatever it


Was that was meant to

Free them only left them

Angered and more. Whatever it

Is I was going to


Become, Master, I am only

Me. I should be glad

That I served no purpose,

Changed nothing. You should have


Never put anything in this

Care, Master. Why did you

Trust me to deliver such

A precious gift? I could


Barely open my eyes for

The force of the winds

Against me. Now it is

Lost, a snowflake. Whatever it


Is I was supposed to

Show up knowing took the

Opposite path to wisdom and

Carved a hollow walk for


Some very real tears. Now

I'm back at your door

With nothing to show for

It but empty pockets and


A broken heart. Whatever it

Is, Master, it's beyond this

Protecting, the enemy's got it

Locked in their brutish arms.  

 New Blank Book by Darryl Price


The hand is always reaching for you and me. We

can't worry about that. You'll have a moment in time

to say your piece. Then the whole thing gets buried

beneath the waves like it never happened in any special

way. The surface will simply be a new blank book.


But I'll know you put up a beautiful fight. And

if you're lucky someone will have seen something flash on

the horizon of their own dreaming and this will spark

a revolution in their thinking. That's worth the try, and

any-way the other way is a false start from the


dawn to the next day. The hand is a bunch

of idiots, but not the good kind. The hand is

black cloth thrown over a lamp. The hand is picking

on you, what're you going to do? The hand is

a liar. The hand is always throwing bombs. The hand


is an octopus, not the good kind. Its beak will

tear you apart in your prettiest sleep. The hand is

a trap door. A venom spraying worm. But that's its

electric blue nature. We need to take blue back and

give it to the children who thought we lost them


in the land of forgotten leaves. We never stop looking,

but neither does the hand. The hand is a fire,

not the good kind, but terrible tasting in its kiss

of empty betrayal. Might as well tell it like it

is. The hand is a shame, but not ashamed. The


hand is a prison, a bank, a zoo, a thirst,

a stop in the progress of all spontaneous dance. The

hand is around your throat. The hand is down your

pants. The hand is holding a dirty dagger behind its

smiling back, but you know all that. I'm just saying,


let's get out of here. Please. I don't want to

do it without you. It gets so lonely. Silent and

cold. I leave these words for you to find. I

trust you to not misunderstand them. Use their power. Put

that magic spell where it will do the most good.  dp