Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear and Pipe
Vincent Van Gogh
Put your vileness up to a mirror and weep.
Get that self-satisfaction flowing out of you.
Satan thought, I am better than Adam,
and that better than is still strongly in us.
Your streamwater may look clean,
but there is unstirred matter on the bottom.
Your guide can dig a side channel
that will drain that waste off.
Trust your wound to a teacher's surgery.
Flies collect on a wound. They cover it,
those flies of your self-protecting feelings,
your love for what you think is yours.
Let a teacher wave away the flies
and put a plaster on your wound.
Don't turn your head. Keep looking
at the bandaged place.
That is where the light enters you.
And don't believe for a moment
you are healing yourself.