Richard, 1998


by Leo Racicot


In these rooms that hold Brueghel


and Rome,


the browns, the gold,


he screams


for hours on end


louder than crows,


louder than the hooves


in the pictures


blackened by cinder and soot,


louder than the flutes


no one but the player can hear, 


wings too frozen to flap,


a mind too sore to think straight.


Four posts, 


the tops of them chrome,


have been cemented into the floor


to which he is strapped


to strap his screaming.


Maybe he is making a gamble 


to outshout the flat and angled landscapes,


the silence of one-dimensional men,


the injustices of history.


It's fitting these pictures watch over him;


the Masters knew the anguish of unanswered cries,


the loudness of hounds


when they see the road is covered over 


by centuries of snow,


the shouts of skaters skating on a river

that never ends…

Leo Racicot is an award-winning poet & essayist from Lowell, Massachusetts.