Snow White in a glass casket was what I had
been aiming at with my Surrealistic portrait
of the Dead Zone’s crack racket, trying to symbolize
the lost soul in the black hole of the ghetto, and the
living-death-quest of hopelessness all around us. But the chaos
of contours I created in the fairy tale beauty’s features,
after I started drinking and slashing paint on the canvas,
and the undulating rhythms of brush strokes with which
I concocted her coffin had her come out of my backstreet
fable as an angel wearing a death mask of sable, asleep
on a billiard table. So maybe “Dust” was the thrust of
my journey into oblivion in a game you can’t win because
a drug is a drug and there’s plenty of “Dust” in the hood.
Besides, while Picasso said that what one paints is what
counts and not what one intended to accomplish, he also
said that if you know exactly what you’re going to do
there’s no point in going through it. Life lives as it does,
I guess. I’m no Picasso, let’s face it; but neither are you.
Dead of winter, I look out at the falling snow from the
window of my ghetto studio. Ragged figures roam the
streets below, dragging through the drifts – bag ladies,
homeless families, dead-enders, penniless pensioners.
And more each day, as the cubical people lose their
lives in the sitcom world and join us in hell: shivering,
pale-faced strangers who come and go, the likes of
which none of us has seen before. As the Dead Zone
grows, wedding rings, good luck charms, Rolex watches
fill the pawn shop windows.
I grab my sketch pad, draw an old wrought iron oven.
On the top of it I put a kettle. Inside I sketch the
portraits of Hansel and Gretel.
Rex Sexton is an award winning Surrealist painter exhibiting in Chicago, and his writing tends to have that illusory element about it. His novel “Desert Flower” was published by B&R Samizdat Express. His short story “Holy Night,”which received the Eric Hoffer Critic’s Choice Award, was published in Best New Writing 2007. His poems have been published in Willow Review, Mobius, Waterways, Edgz and others.