Talk to the man you don't understand,
invite him for supper or tea -
or if it's a piece of impossible art,
chat like you would to a friend;
take it home in your head,
pillow-talk it in bed
and give it some quality time.
I'll give you a case I bumped into by chance
as I was doing my rounds:
a gallery space
and me face-to-face
with The Dance of Life by Munch.
I was puzzled at first by the masks,
the facades of people having a dance -
and said so: "The shame,
the gloom and the grief,
not enjoying the hour
of their dance by the side of the sea."
"I am no Dance of Life, my friend,"
the picture disagreed.
"My title is an irony.
I'm more your dance of angst.
I am obsessed,
as my creator was obsessed,
who painted many canvases
of his anxieties.
I am the grand summation of them all.
He wrapped them all in me: his three
iconic forms of womanhood: the virgin,
inaccessible and pure; seductress,
predator and vampire; and the mother,
stiff and suffering, yet stoical."
"And yet, you're something ghostly, ethereal,"
I said. "Not flesh and blood. How can that be?
The sea is calm, the moon
a ring of beauty with reflections in the sea.
These things should influence
the scene - not leave you cold."
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