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Yo, Picasso

—GTimothy Gordon

Yo, Picasso

The highest walls melt before me.

-Picasso, photo caption of self-portrait, summer 1901-

Consider me at 20 in-heat, like Paris, black cloak, black hair,

black beard, black eyes, the aughts, sans francs, friends, tongue,

full of myself, dream and vision to expiate among othered Other

misérables in Montmartre, Montparnasse, known from my high

hovel-atelier, with Braque, notre avenir dans l’air gone-bust ,

so solo I’d show the clucks what’s what, set the century on fire,

deflate a past still preening, all-in with my genius before the lean-in,

copycat, cool-kid isms, consider my hands (so Stein says), delicate,

of a pianist, shape-shifter among splodgy French bric-a-brac art

spooked by all that’s New and Now from the get-go by gendarmes,

government, for talking langue of art, a mí, alien, métèque, never artiste,

never metier, never citizen, surveilled, spied on by lowlife snitches,

given the French bureaucratic go-by time and again, despite my cosseted blues,

rosés that crush the canvas, often your heart, not just La Vie, Les Demoiselles,

Weeping Woman, Child with a Dove, the Saltimbanques, all Blind Minotaurs,

The Tragedy, Guernica, rejected by higher-ups, especially my spot-on angles

more avant than Armory garde nudes descending, blues and toilets, when all

went surréaliste, after me, Dali céléb, even postwar Yank abstractionist

pretenders, thugs really, boozing it up in Bowery bars, but me, my mythic feel

even with brutalist touches, working overtime on what I was before becoming

what I am every moment, the dealers, collectors, money guys, who even knew

passion and genius, always my worth, cash-money awash as I negotiated both wars,

Olga and I hobnobbing upscale Danse Russe artistes in pricey flats, châteaux,

trolling le pays, chauffeured luxe Hispano-Suiza limo, new mistress in-hand, partying

with Dominguín after the bulls, even before Papá H! remaking a smug, certain world,

seeing it still fresh, accessible, mysterious, just when everyone thought all was stable,

safe, and absolute for a bit before each calamity, until The Bomb, then deeper-in

mining my god instinct, creation en-soi, and what a joy it was, still is, working at what’s,

even past ninety, in flux, for what else is there, rich, poor, young, old, scholar, scamp,

but to find oneself in the moment as at Gósol when all went dark with vision and voice,

the who you know you are, ever seek, even for a microsecond before passing, the what

I’m after, my very being, Yo soy, sin arrogancia, ahora y por siempre, más grande que la vida,

Yo, Picasso.


GTIMOTHY GORDON'S DREAM WIND was published 2020 (Spirit-of-the-Ram), GROUND OF THIS BLUE EARTH (Mellen), while EVERYTHING SPEAKING CHINESE received the Riverstone Press Poetry Prize (AZ). His work appears in AGNI, American Literary Review, Cincinnati Review, Mississippi Review, New York Quarterly, Phoebe, RHINO, Sonora Review, Texas Observer, and has been nominated for several Pushcart Prizes. His eighth book, EMPTY, was published 04 January 2024 (Cyberwit Press), BLUE BUSINESS is in-progress.

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