dissolving in the gallery by James Morehead

dissolving in the gallery
by James Morehead

welcome to our gallery i read in dulling bronze

our artisans suggest you linger in each hall,
 for if you pause and stare for hours, you may be reborn.

i first stop in the library, lined with ancient tomes
 and watch the words slip from their pages
  'til nothing's left, not even phrases.

the next room’s filled with paintings hung in even stacks,
 some layered rich in color, others finely sketched,
  soon the pigment slowly fades, oil drips away,
   revealing stark blank canvases, white walls in decay.
each figure in the next hall holds a perfect pose, muscles carved
 from blocks of stone, unblinking eyes set deep,
  left still on polished pedestals, ever on display, 
   until they’re melted down by fire into molten pools 
    becoming solid masses as the steaming swirl cools.

i step into the final room where mirrors line each wall; 
 lit only by a single beam, i’m pulled towards the light
  and just like the art before, my body starts to fade,
   dissolving into shadows that vanish through the floor. 
    and so i join words paint and stone jumbled in the tomb,
     then waiting for three days to pass, i rise once more—and bloom.

Hear James Morehead, and other selected poets, read their poems on The Viewless Wings Poetry Podcast:

The value of poetry workshops: nine poets recite original poems Viewless Wings Poetry Podcast

Submit your polished poetry for the opportunity of being published on ViewlessWings.com and being interviewed on The Viewless Wings Poetry Podcast.

Jeremy Huw Williams (baritone) and Paul Fan (piano) perform “gallery” (poem: James Morehead, music: Deon Nielsen Price)
James Morehead, Jeremy Huw Williams, Paula Fan, Deon Nielsen Price

James Morehead is the Poet Laureate of Dublin, California. “canvas: poems” is his debut collection, and he hosts The Viewless Wings Poetry Podcast. James’ poem “tethered” was transformed into an award-winning hand drawn animated short film, and “gallery” was set to music for baritone and piano by composer Deon Nielsen Price.

James’ poems have appeared in multiple journals including Wingless Dreamer, Prometheus Dreaming and PromptPress (Prompt for the Planet).

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