No Matter How Good the Light Is: Poems by a Painter

by Edward Boccia


Apples on the Floor

Somehow the blind artist knows
the coming of the end of the world
is not his fault. Born to live
in the never-ending world of feelings
and images, the blind artist walks
around with his head high
and his arms stretched out in front.
Born and raised to expect the unacceptable,
the blind artist never recoils.
Favored by the gods who prefer accident
over plan, he never thinks about his next move.
As a follower of the old blind seers,
the blind artist enjoys throwing his model
out of the studio while she is still naked.
He's in ecstasy when he dumps his still life
upon the floor and steps all over it.
When asked how this behavior improves
his creativity, the blind artist says,
there are three things that resemble
the soul — a cool damp place
like an old cellar,
a sweet-smelling woman hungry for love,
and the feeling we get when we eat raw meat.


In No Matter How Good the Light Is, Edward Boccia leads us into the inner world of the artist, revealing the conflicts inherent in conceiving and shaping a vision. An accomplished painter himself, Boccia invites us to journey into the tempestuous waters of creativity and challenge our notions of what is and isn’t art, providing a rare opportunity to share in the struggle of the artistic process and see a master hand at work.


Edward Boccia is to Wallace Stevens and Picasso what Wallace Stevens is to Picasso. This painterly poet helps me see things otherly.
— Jennifer Bosveld, editor of Pudding Magazine: The International Journal of Applied Poetry

Boccia finds an idiosyncratic, personal music in the push and pull of brushes, paints, canvas, and easel in the expansive history of painting and what’s painted: every unsettling and colorful aspect of our own mortality. Although he suggests that "any man who hides under his bed / at night, cursing the darkness, / ought to buy a Renoir," I’m here to tell you that Boccia’s book is a viable, and less expensive, alternative: you won’t need track lighting, extra insurance, or security alarms . . . for these quirky figments of the painter’s imagination; you’ll have a hard time getting them out of your head.
— David Clewell, author of The Conspiracy Quartet