The Pit and Philip Guston

by Jerry Ratch

Above the chasm of life burn two fires

at either side of the framed painting that

stands on the pink and red plain. And inside

the painting itself an orange rain falls,

accumulating in a sea of red. Rocks can't stand

their small shadows anymore and the desire in them

grows to an outlandish size.


While inside the pit a single downturned head

with its eye wide open, examines the rising level

of the green water, as though surprised,

as it floats there in the midst of the crowd of

up-ended legs, a horde of floating heels and

the soles of shoes, as the fires on the plain above

go on to rage, rage in the reddened, maddening

daylight of hell.