Picasso knows

Picasso knows

A Poem by Lisa Hickey

This is the story I want to tell you about Picasso:
light, natural as straw, through the east window,
rays and dust. He squeezes long worms of paint,
criss-crossing a ceramic plate. Hovers the palette knife
over a canvas that smells of vinegar. Pauses.

Presses and wipes, presses, wipes, layer after layer,

cordons off sections of color. Ocher against violet,

cream, black, cream. Eggnog. Faster he works,
he is racing the light, the dust, he adds, always with a knife,
never a brush, scrapes small squares, strokes and smoothes.
I see him as his hands turn mustard, lilac arcs his left eyebrow.
His eyes rabid as the blocks take shape;
you can discern a figure, a nude, now two, three,
they overlap, become transparent, reflect each other's light.
Picasso cannot slow down, his hands are a camera lens,
flickering, fluttering, clicking, never stopping.
Late afternoon, he steps back. He is hunched over,
but one arm is raised, palette knife in hand,

a conductor’s flourish.

He sing-crys, "No, it is wrong, wrong, wrong, all wrong."                   
Takes the knife and scrapes, scrapes and then glazes,
until the entire canvas is once again blank.

I might have gotten it wrong.

This might have been my story, after all. 

© 2010 Lisa Hickey

My Review

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It could very well be his story and as a writer you painted this one to perfection.

Posted 9 Years Ago

What a wonderful justaposition of mediums! This positively flows and creates so many thoughts and feelings about the artist and his work .. how the canvas becomes his living thoughts .. how the colours he uses bring his imagination to life ..sometimes vivid, sometime light, gentle. And then, that final blow when after the work, after the contemplation of finishing it .. it's gone ..

Quite a character was Picasso .. quite a poem is this. Wonderful!

Posted 9 Years Ago

I'd say it could very well have applied to Picasso, but only you know if it describes you. I don't paint much anymore, but when I did, I had far more failures than sucesses and wiped the canvas clean many times. You did a great job here of conveying the passionate, emotional relationship that the artist has with his/her work.

Posted 10 Years Ago

Very nicely done. You make the words tangible which is in many ways the challenge to writing poetry. Anyone can use big words, but only the right words can pierce the reader's armor. Good job!

Posted 10 Years Ago

This piece has a distinct rhythm and fast pacing that kept me on the edge of my seat. Your use of color is immaculate and I absolutely loved your incorporation of smell as well. I might almost like to see this with more choppy line breaks that could really emphasize the speed and intensity of your words.

Posted 10 Years Ago

One of my favorites painters and now I have a poet to go along with him. You capture the scene as if you are there. Nicely done.

Posted 10 Years Ago

again...just, again...superb...you are certainly a welcome talent around here...

Posted 10 Years Ago

wow i really like this a lot i was wondering how you know so much about picasso, and the last two lines make the entire poem turn around in a different style, lovely writing!

Posted 10 Years Ago

This is really different. I like it a lot, though. I really like how it flows so well. It doesn't seem forced at all.

Should sing-crys be sing-cries?

Posted 10 Years Ago

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11 Reviews
Added on March 1, 2010
Last Updated on March 1, 2010
Tags: poem, story, Picasso, art, creative process, nude, wrong


Lisa Hickey
Lisa Hickey

Boston, MA

I create stuff -- poetry, non-fiction, design, photography, blog posts, comedy routines, ads, businesses. Here I'll be posting mostly poetry, but feel free to connect with me anywhere you find me onli.. more..


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