Wet on Wet Tête-à-Tête

in memory of Bill Alexander, the host of
The Magic of Oil Painting, 1974-1982

I’m here to tell the world, Mr. Ross,
that you weren’t the first PBS painter

to master half-hour wet on wet paintings.
Just ask Bill Alexander, your teacher,

your mentor, your master,
and, sadly but predictably, your rival.

Though Bill was as quick with a brush
and palette knife as you, he lacked

the hipness of your Hippie hairdo
and encouraging EST guru essence.

In the end, it was no happy accident
that you eradicated your only competition

beneath layer upon layer of liquid white,
cadmium yellow, Prussian blue,

and enough midnight black
to bury him forever under

the darkness and obscurity cancellation brings.

Kip Knott’s most recent book of poetry is Tragedy, Ecstasy, Doom, and so on (Kelsay Books). He has writing and photographs forthcoming in Barren Magazine, Great Lakes Review, La Piccioletta Barca, and Versification, More of his work can be accessed at kipknott.com.

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