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December 5, 2006

This poem was originally written December 5, 2006 after a trip to the Art Institute in Chicago, where I viewed some works of the American artist Edward Hopper... I was inspired by his most famous painting Nighthawks, but also by Chop Suey and On a Train. What inspires me about Hopper is his ability to paint a mood and for us to create conversations or relationships that may exist amongst his subjects. Here I am comparing my difficulty in truly getting past the trivial and into deep conversation versus Hopper's ability to communicate so deeply without words.

Call me by my name, I love to hear the sound

of stepping off the curb and on to sacred ground

It feels like that to be tonight enlightened by your grace

to peek into your window, to look into your face

Tonight, we sit and talk as we grow more and more acquainting

like two women talking in an Edward Hopper painting

As something from a scene from Boulevard of Broken Dreams

Two Nighthawks masquerading our intimate extremes

Each hiding different secrets, skeletons locked away

left for new confessions on a different, future day

Call out to me, I love to hear my name

I find new ways to be with you, although it's just a game

It seems like I invent new ways to prove myself aloof

Waste away opportunity, a mindless, soulless spoof

Tonight we sit and talk as we grow more and more acquainting

Like strangers on a Paris street in some Edward Hopper painting

As women sitting plain in coach on an onward rushing train

We stare and try to solve the challenge of each other's pain

Each keeping things that strain the heart from each other's reach

Each thinking there is more to learn than more to teach

I wish I could open up without saying any words

As Edward Hopper does in so many of his works

A couple sits in silence saying more than I've ever said

I cannot communicate half as well as Edward Hopper dead

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