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Brian Cochran

Having an emptiness with you I'd

Having an emptiness with you I'd

like to continue over Skype or Zoom or in front

of the space behind the paintings

                                at the Rothko Chapel

                or certain portraits by Lucien Freud, the space behind them too

     and likewise with Pollack, the dark canvas with bright energy, the one called Number 3,

and I’d like to know, with you, if the space behind the paintings, or really what I mean is

                                             deep in them, behind what we see at first

if that space is really the same as the painting’s ground

                                             or something different

especially in the Rothkos, which seem to go forever, as a kind of visual nothingness

                   on top of which the somethingness of things...  yes

I’d like to be with you in front of the Rothkos

             and really look, together if that’s possible I’d like it to be possible

   even in front of the Rothkos, which are the hardest for me

which is why you might say I’m not very good at relationships, but

                      to do this with you,

when much of my life has been having an emptiness, but not with you... which I feel really sad about

     and therefore feel compelled to tell you about today,

what with the going on

                             despite having an emptiness

                                                   and all the things in front of it

               and I’d like to have you along which is what I wanted to say.

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Brian Cochran lives in University City, Missouri, a few miles south of where the Missouri and Mississippi rivers collide. His work has previously appeared in Lana Turner, Kenyon Review, VOLT, Denver Quarterly, UCity Review and other journals. He has received fellowships, residencies, and grants from the Millay Colony for the Arts, Bread Loaf, the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, the Vermont Studio Center, and MacDowell. He has an M.F.A. from Washington University, and works as a writer at a small engineering firm in St. Louis. 

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