This is the sort of thing that catches my eye when I'm walking in Chicago. In my imagination it shifts into a plane covered with shapes and colors. And then I wish I could paint the image I'm holding in my mind's eye. I turn to Diane Wakoski's poem, "Why I Am Not a Painter," which isn't as well known as Frank O'Hara's poem with the same title, but should be. I read and reread it.

Yesterday I helped an artist compose her artist's statement. Words did not come easily to her! This seemed as odd to me as to me as it must have seemed odd to her that they came so easily to me. I think we both might have been thinking: this is not a bad life: creating things, talking about creating things–and for the latter, we need words. But I still wish I could paint.