Poem: The Black Arts

This poem was written during our trip to the Upper Peninsula this year. There’s something about writing poetry in the early hours before anyone else is awake. It’s a ritual I often undertake when traveling, usually in our hotel room, as I watch the sun rise and listen for the world to wake. I don’t know if it will be part of my series on love, sex and relationships, but it’s one of those rare gems that came out almost whole with little need for edits. The kind that makes you wonder if muses actually exist.

When looking for representational images for this poem, I didn’t run across anything that quite felt right. I found this image by Dimitri Wittmann on Pixabay and thought it would suffice if I could make it glow like a charcoal briquet. I am in love with the results. Thanks to Dimitri for making his work available for modification, which allowed me to build on his vision. To view the original, simply click on the link above.

Photo by Dimitri Wittmann with modification by Michelle Beltano Curtis

The Black Arts

I sit in a room in a hotel 
in a city where once I lived with you, 
loving and dreaming of a family anew. 
Listening to the man I love snore 
a gentle tune that stops time 
but does nothing for thought.   

My mind wanders to the window, 
as if I might find you outside, 
standing in cold judgement, 
your arms wrapped ‘round your pride. 
I made your loathing; 
a form of broken art. 
Your heart my medium—

red as the rage you feel for me. 
Black as my heart. 
I never meant to hurt you. 
I never intended to make you my art.

by Michelle Beltano Curtis

I decided to try out including a reading of the poem. I love to hear poets read their work and I hope it enhances your experience. Please let me know what you think.

All rights reserved. “The Black Arts” may not be reprinted without the author’s concent.

8 thoughts on “Poem: The Black Arts

  1. 😍 So glad someone’s enjoying it! I have hundreds. So I figured I’d put the better ones up here as time permits. I don’t think I’ll ever chase publication again. I’m so glad they’re getting read, no matter how tiny my audience. 🤗


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