picasso

(on reading gertrude stein)

the square opposes the circle
the colours must oppose the painting
because he is spanish and knows
that houses do not blend into the landscape
they stand abrupt
piled up
all sharp edged cubes
miss stein knows this because she is
american
and knows that only americans and spaniards
see the world as it really is
(at least in the 1920s)

 

picasso painted as he spoke as a spaniard
except when paris seduced him and he became
temporarily french
took on the gaiety
viewed life in rosy tints as harlequin
each time he returned to spain he came back
hard edged
blue or gray
and cubism was born
bursting slow from his forehead
the sweat of his struggle

 

miss stein understands this struggle
the necessity of cubism
better than you or I
because she is
american and as she says
americans understand the spanish
and how they see the world
which is not your world or my world
but we have learned to see this world
through her spaniard’s eyes.

 

the head the face the human body these
are all that exist for picasso she said
she stopped her book before guernica but
his weeping woman
speaks

 

picasso was first published inVerandah 27, anthology of poetry, fiction and art, published by Verandah Literary Journal, Deakin University, Melbourne, 2012. ISSN 1448-4900