Misery and Death


On the wall at my mothers house

I have a print in beautiful frame

Of Van Goghs ‘Starry Night’

An excellent gift

For my 19th birthday

So while I do my time

I had the jail librarian

Print me at A3 in color

The very same ‘Starry Night’

A week later

The screws came around

And said:

No more pictures on the walls

Take it down

Disappointed I acquiesced

And as I took it down

It tore into pieces

Just another reminder

That jail is where beauty goes to die

And all here is blackened

Misery and death

The jail librarian was an awesome person; she would happily print you out whatever you wanted to put on the walls of your cell. For me this was the Thrasher Logo, Henry Rollins, Noam Chomsky, Smashing Pumpkins and all sorts of stuff that I was into as a younger man. At some point a long time  ago, as a tortured artist myself, I discovered Van Gogh and took a liking to his work and story. Funnily enough it was through the band NOFX, who did a cover of the song ‘Vincent’ on a punk rock sampler in the 90’s. There’s an excellent movie called Loving Vincent that is one of few films I’ve had the patience for post release. Poor old Vincent, I still love Starry Night to this day.

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