La Minotauromachie, 1935

Modelling for Picasso
akin to being photo-collaged
from all angles, bomb-sculptured
in four dimensions,
then folded inside out.

Profile-prolific, minotaur-
series sempiternally reflected,
protracted: mirror
upon ovoid mirror, all antiphonal.

Out of the artist’s labyrinth,
it seems few would emerge;
and these: scarred, emblazoned,
still champing equinely
for forgotten, forbidden, an almost

unrefractable light.


Picasso, 1932 (Tate Modern, 2018)

Hurling paint
as if it were the sculptor’s clay
you fleshed out the object
of your desire, phallic Prometheus,
a titan of self-possession
alienated in your mastery
& majesty; as Spain prepared
to disembowel itself –
a stuck bull reeling
from the matador’s coup-
de-grace to stain a frieze;
so unable to satiate
blood-lust, it crawled

from arena to abattoir.


Parade, 1917

Occupying a cut-out facade;
something Diaghilev would have
dynamised, something for Satie
to galvanise with sound,
or Apollinaire to tease out linguistically?
Cubism mutated, immense, stereo-
phonic & spatial, where dancers
gyrate & arabesque: factitious,
origami-deceptive. Who
legitimises such metropolitan
mise-en-scènes? Such locomotion
of thighs & biceps?
Who authorises that jowl
of masquerade to champ

on blood, vanity, saliva?


Picasso, 1911

I will fracture your guitar,
pipe, newspaper; ensure you
perceive in perspectives incalculable;
bequeath you a re-imagined
physics both of proven
& unprovable optics; displace
the academy of impressions, caveats,
classicisms. I will distort,
atonally shift the palpitating
ear-organ; elide nuance
into nuance; pile Ossa
onto Pelion & some; re-create
Cezanne’s mountain outside
Aix-en-Provence with a new
solidity made from pneumatics,
omniscient sonics, the unlikely

vision of the psychopomp.


Mark Wilson

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