Artwork by William Hilton

The Dying Artist, 1820 (After William Hilton)listen

John Keats dies a little more each day,
his lungs like lepers; loose bits of them fall
around his heart. He tries, but can't recall
a moment free from pain. The sun's last ray,

reflecting gold off motes that dance and sway
just inches overhead, appears to crawl;
a brilliant caterpillar. Keats' scrawl
is getting faint. He has to find a way

to keep on writing. Paper, water, ink...
he coughs up blood. It's thin, though, far too weak
to write with. Love. He doesn't know it well,

but (soft!) he sees his shepherd, under spell:
this grandiose design he dared to speak,
consuming... Keats looks up, as if to think—

by Scott Miller

Scott Miller completed an MFA program in Poetry at Antioch University Los Angeles in December 2008. Born in Philadelphia, he holds a degree in Mathematics from MIT and remains a financial software developer even as he pursues a writing career, in an effort to achieve the elusive left-brain/right-brain balance. He was in no way responsible for the current economic turmoil. Scott has lived in the San Fernando Valley, just outside of Los Angeles, with his wife, Michal, since 2003.

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