The Forger
There’s a secret room in my studio
where I paint all my Vermeer’s
and embroiled in a Breugel
I’ll stay locked in there for years

If only I were more prolific
I would be a very rich man
as it is my Monet’s each take 200 days
for the perfection that I demand

My work’s in all major collections
undetected by the worlds finest eyes
my colours are flawless, my brushwork is lawless
cause I paint the most perfect lies

My life is the life of a forger
no longer time for my own career
I force my assistant to paint in my style
which he does with an ironic sneer

If ever I were uncovered
it would collapse the whole world of art
the real and the forged would both plummet in value
as they tried to tell them apart

I carefully age every canvas
and mix every pigment by hand
chastising my nerves for not working faster
for not keeping up with demand

My success is all in my passion
and has little to do with technique
cause no modern artist would work for 3 years
when they can dash it off in a week

My life is the life of a forger
the perfection of styles long dead
I get little acclaim for work by famous names
so I don’t let it go to my head

All the years have made me modest
studying the truly great
if I were their equal, I wouldn’t paint sequels
but I’m not so I just imitate

My eyesight is not what it used to be
and my hands now quiver when I tire
I must not get sloppy with my perfect copies
so perhaps it’s time to retire

I’ll just finish up these last orders
it will only take 3 or 4 years
then return to my own work, much less of a challenge
and not tinged with criminal fear

my life is the life of a forger
beauty's better the second time round
I’ve filled the galleries, they’ve paid my salary
and if my diary is ever found

the whole world will wonder about me
why I devoted my life to this cause
but only great paintings are made that much greater
in service of their perfect flaws
Guitar and Voice: Jacob Wren
Recording: Radwan Ghazi Moumneh (hotel2tango)