Nat. Brut ARCHIVE
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ARTIST DISSECTING A HORSE
by Hayden Bennett
Upon being asked to paint a portrait of the king,
he goes to the stables for eighteen months.
The king, a horse, the horse, a king, somewhere it stopped
making a difference, so he begins with the horse,
shaving the fleshy corpse at random until
the enormous eyelids look comical; the other
horses can’t help but laugh at the man digging
into the dirt-covered thing lying on a fence
put down in the middle of the makeshift operating theatre.
He makes notes while he operates, sketches constantly,
pausing only to write a book on equine anatomy,
but after it is written, he finds that he is no longer able
to read. And when he goes to paint the portrait,
that he can no longer find the king. The country has
walked away, and the horses are the only ones who have
stayed around, looking out from behind their short fences
as the man brings out the canvas and starts to paint
something they are just beginning to recognize.
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