Vincent van Gogh: The Mulberry Tree, 1889
by Gerald Locklin

In the artist’s words,
“Its dense yellow foliage
Was of a magnificent yellow color
Against a very blue sky,
In a white stony field
With sunshine from behind.”

He neglected to mention that
He’d plugged the whole scene into
God’s own infinitely voltaged battery.

No one was ever more alive than he,
It is not just that
He was creative:
He embodied creation…
The creator took possession of him.
Death and life were one;
Both crackled with brain-music.

He may have known something
That we do not, yet,
A reality defying words.

His brain exploded into galaxies.

PAINTING: “The Mulberry Tree” (1889) by Vincent van Gogh

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Gerald Locklin is a professor emeritus of English at California State University, Long Beach, where he taught full-time from 1965-2007. He has published fiction, poetry, essays, and reviews prolifically in periodicals and in over 150 books, chapbooks, and broadsides. Recent books include a fiction e-Book, The Sun Also Rises in the Desert, from Mendicant Bookworks; a collection of poems, Deep Meanings: Selected Poems, 2008-2013, from PRESA Press; three simultaneously released novellas from Spout Press; and a French collection of his prose, Candy Bars: Le Dernier des Damnes from 13e Note Press, Paris. Event Horizon Press released new editions of A Simpler Time, A Simpler Place and Hemingway Colloquium: The Poet Goes to Cuba in 2011; Coagula Press released the first of two volumes of his Complete Coagula Poems; and From a Male Perspective appeared from PRESA Press. Find more of Gerald Locklin’s poetry in Gerald Locklin: New and Selected Poems (Silver Birch Press, 2013), available at