AL 041231 THE ART OF THE ASIDE – Jean-Michel BasquiatThere are sly ways to cheat the mirror on those mornings
when your reflection has had a bad night.
You can throw a hammer at the mirror just before you close the door.
But you like that mirror and it’s just on loan?
Back up and pass by again but this time don’t give the glass a second look.
But you’re tantalized by the wreck you’ve made of mama’s darling baby boy?
Get out your knives and carve that graven image into the woodwork for perpetuity.
But your artwork doesn’t capture the yellow growl of your queasy gut?
So give up tradition and dilute your canvas with moldy bread and green puke bilge.
But the smell is bad and makes things worse?
Try painting the nasty man you feel inside on top of the ugly one you see in your glass
But you’ve had your coffee and feel much better now?
It’s definitely time to turn the canvas to the wall and put aside your florid misperceptions
But if they come looking for self-portraits what are you to say?

Engrave these words upon your brain,
“Of course not! He needs an orthodontist and–look here–my teeth are fine.”


“Senza Titolo” painted by Jean-Michel Basquiat in 1982