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The Picasso Ode
 

Distrusting the hand which he pulled back
the same for the eye at play
to land in the accidental as a fly his Lordship

buzzing beyond the flat of his hand,
my father, the Painter, his brush between
lamplight & ruled lines, strokes the paper

arranging staves of landscape traced
beneath it, labored red-eyed from Sunday magazines
Malaga Malaga the tufted hills

overtures of watercolor routinely
atop the hills & inks for echoes surrounding
dark figures heads bowed

at the end of the road, roadkill
the nether sky, each mile, regardless of weather,
close to night, the disdainful son migrating

a meteor, getting the hell out,
ablaze, a welder's light for utility, a shooting star
to deliver the death wound, no blanks

for father, a formality for the offspring
in art, as elsewhere, the focus on Distance,
both eyes beyond the elements, the gazes

across boundaries wide as tree-rings from
the rotting core, the cataloged limbs come down
sick.Paul, a half century later

praised the whores of Barcelona
they say might have infected Pablo the watcher
his herd of cows vying with the Prado for

his swaggering attention lost
in half light fading into the spill
of fountains, courting Velazquez & disruptions
 
of which Paris, modernists to
dance halls & sheet music, when he arrived with
Casagemas, a glacier of old busts &

early self-portraits.

Casagemas, the dumb-ass, heart on
his sleeve for Fernande, her shivers
congenial only with his suicide

she & Pablo, blue after the burial,
punctuated their fucking with tears of avoidance &
Pablo found this an artistic lift &

adopted a blue palette for his brush
to grope.Whispers to reveal, thru the sunny skylight,
the hardships engineered for art

& art legends.The women he discovered
didn't improve with acquaintance hung from the walls
by their hair, the Munch touch, mal du siecle,

the Collectors loved it, nocturnal
cafe life suffused with exploded light garish
the muted women on his easel

washed up from the river
to launched him, an echo of religion rose-red
on their tight reserved mouths,

mournful his atelier a bitches' habitat, &
those he didn't bed he painted from prison,
their profession advertised by disease the older ones

walking in confused circles, mumbling, traces
of the passionate beauty they started out with
defining his hold on God, a Spanish thing, Death

No a fabrication, the gaunt male of
La Vie an X-ray revealed he originally had
Pablo's likeness his face repainted as Casagemas'

beside Fernande, saving himself
for Harleguin, the immigrant victim & his antedates
from which Art arose, enamored

black petals, the cycle gathered
a rose ensued, a prosthetic rose of Consciousness
peeled back for the canvass,

the early self-portraits.

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