Untittled by Lilly Fenichel

Victor Jara

Positioned in front of an abstract.

An empty museum full of artists.

The treasure  before me has a story.

The abstract lines ask me,

ask me, for interpretation.

Soiled yellow covers the canvas.

Lines and spatters of black.

Gobs of paint still sit where the artist placed them.

Rifts of red like flashing lights of lunacy.

Disturbing wretchedness gallops at me.


The young man who created this is gone.

Now I stand where he stood.

I am in the place where he held a brush and made a touch.

In a past decade, these oils developed a declaration.

Abstract forms are revealing a struggle.

I sense tears dripping on the painters palette.

Fear jerks my hand, I want to escape.


The decade of the 60’s was not all love and not all free.

That decade gave us 10 years of

– war, a senseless one.

10 years of

– American leaders gunned  down.

10 years of

– so many deaths of our own black kin.

10 years of

– cities burning with bomb shelters to hide from our own man made sins.


How can abstract lines relay thought, struggle and pain?

I am aware of the artist’s arousing aversion.

It was just those emotions that guided his brush.

The yellow of war

The black of death and despair

The red, a call for all to react.


The canvas now shows a torso – mutilated by minds of madness.

Reminding us of  Victor Jara

Singing his song with shattered hands and splintered ribs.

Murdered by his own government, let me add, all supported by the CIA.

His death now in full display through other onus hands holding a brush

This colorful canvas coaxes us to continue.


Broken guitar strings make an appearance.

Twisted and curled incapable of producing sound.

Phil Ochs, like other troubadours, also silenced, his songs no longer sought to be sung.

Prophets of the present world show deeds that are a nations weeds.


Yes this display is a declaration of danger,

in company with other conceptions of art.

If you stand up for your conscience then beware.

Entire governments may be mobilized.

Your body and mind broken beyond repair


I touch the painting trembling as I sense the past

The rough rope reeks around my neck – this is how the artist left his spot in life.

My feet sense the floor but that painting has no door.

I understand why his tears wet my soul.

He was trapped in his term of truth.

Artists today exude similar emotions.

Emotions we all live with in our moment in time. 1