Sits by a candle's flickering light in the kitchen of a squalid
apartment in Paris, hunched over the table, focused
drawing begun in class that day. Wax drips onto coarse paper, shadows splay
across cold walls, describing primal shapes in sulci and gyri of cracked plaster.
from when a crowbar pierced
the frontal lobes of a railway worker named Phineas Gage, his close friends
and relations remarked, 'Gage wasn't Gage anymore.' In this famous example
of frontal lobe damage, Gage was transformed from a stable, polite, hardworking
young man into a lying, cheating vagabond
who could not hold down the damp air. He
aware of water dripping through darkness, his father snoring in bedroom, sister standing behind him staring down at wrinkled
transfigured by bold charcoal lines. A few years older than Auguste,
wise before her time, it's Marie's faith that
him through the night and poverty of his grandiose dream.
Wearing a hooded raincoat and
hauling a backpack, a man passes me, looking like he knows
where he is going. The world is naked and chaotic;
night's cowl darkens the heart.