Ding anSich: For Aldous Huxley

by Andrew Boden

 

Word and pigment

render page and painting

but not the chair in which Van Gogh

sat nights, trying to comprehend

the canvas called reality

by consensus of ear and eye,

skin touching the pointillist

illusion that is a chair,

or the young man’s hand

clutching the paint brush

against his heart,

because just for a second

he saw the chair as it was before his birth

into this world of conned senses

and tried, in vain, to paint it.

About Andrew Boden

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Andrew Boden is the co-editor of Hidden Lives: Coming Out on Mental Illness, a groundbreaking anthology of evocative personal essays by writers who either suffer from or have close family members who have been diagnosed with a serious mental health or developmental disorder. His articles on mental illness have appeared in Open Minds Quarterly and Other Voices. His stories and essays have appeared in The Journey Prize Stories: 22, Prairie Fire, Descant, Vancouver Review, and the anthology Nobody's Father: Life Without Kids. Andrew is vice-president and director of the Institute for Cross-Cultural Exchange, a Canadian children’s literacy charity, and has helped build homes in San Quintin, Mexico. He enjoys cave exploration, especially on Vancouver Island and in the Chilliwack region. He currently resides in Burnaby, BC.