Picasso at 90

A poem


Now he burns blue, spits at the scythe and hood,

paints cruel age, the impotence —

phallic pipes, the artist’s severed hand,


fecund woman scorning the besotted old man.

Stained grey, splayed his fingers grip the brush,

jab at the muted palette — fanned strokes


swift and uncluttered, duplicity

discarded as his final years wrestle

across the voids. Simplicity


strips statements to black and white —

the female other sprawled, her open sex

staring. She//he. Icon draws his fright,


brush-strokes the model. Life pared

to the passion of art. Body/bar/chair.