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Revelations of a Courtroom Artist

by matt gulley

Owing to a preservation

of privacy violated

by thirty frames per second

over minutes of gaunt listening,


the courtroom artist

with colored pencils

provides quick silhouettes

of the condemned

and the innocent, flanked by lawyers

and yet this courtroom artist

takes great care

despite a clerkman’s salary

long hours and

trying commute

and was happy in his rut

he thought

until the day he was

summoned to the trial

of the famous art forger

and now as a matter

of duty to the record

he found himself

depicting the evidence

of painterly deceit.

So driven to madness

in Quixotic compression:

making etchings of canvas

which mimicked mimicry

of mid-century masters

and finding some glaring truth

in his little squares of squares


and fled to cheapest housing

with brushes in his pockets.


Matt Gulley is 34 years old. He attended Wayne State University in Detroit and the MFA program at Long Island University in Brooklyn. He currently resides in Brooklyn with his girlfriend Jenna. Recently published in The Twin Bill, Blood Tree Literature, The London Reader, and Sunspot Literary Journal. @selfawareroomba on twitter dot com


Image by Bree Anne
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