Gauguin quit the bank at 44.
I think it was Gauguin.
He always wanted the world
to be mesmerized by orange,
pink, and the color of the sea
drying out on some canvas.
It must have been all that mahogany
that got him to go. Do I have the right
guy? Men and women leave banks
all the time. My mother was too sick
to manage one. She emptied herself
every other hour and missed too many
calls. She called them cold. I could
never have my ear hang on ice.
Even if I have a fever I oblige
the blast of upending vision.
Maybe it was Pollock hunched
in his teller booth, ink blotting
the withdrawals and deposit slips.
He was gifting the world a chaos
you could hold in your hand.
Imagine a slip of Pollock
crumpled in your pocket.
You were too busy, or mad at the guy
blotching the books, or you’re
grateful to lose sight of that dreaded
figure of the day, reddening quietly
underneath all that marvelous glob.
Spencer Silverthorne’s chapbook Premium Brawn was a 2017 finalist in the Bateau Press Keel Chapbook Contest. His work is published or forthcoming in Assaracus, The Birds We Piled Loosely, Permafrost Magazine, Tammy, Vagabond City, and others. Originally from Philadelphia, he lives in Limpopo Province, South Africa where he teaches English in a primary school.