Coffee & Picasso

In front of me here are the goods of café work procrastination: a banana, coffee, phone, essays, strangers, rain and my wool sweater.  I have such a spongy exterior, I listen to a podcast about politics, and I think I’m supposed to be a politician.  I go to a museum and think I too could cut out magazines and turn them into butterflies.  I see lovers holding hands in the park, and it my curious path, I’m sure that’s meant to be me.  I read about psychology, and I think the devious conditions are mine.  At a poetry reading, I hear a set of sounds denoted by symbols, and I have found my lost calling – sound in text.  I sing along with a new musician and I think I’m destined to do that myself.


I am.  I am meant to be that person in the present moment.  To lead, to create, to love, to be flawed, to make sound, make sound.  (May xound).


In my mind I keep coming back to Picasso.  As a youngster he hit the art scene in Paris as a force.  He was well trained, and wildly talented.  I must have seen a documentary on this at some point, but I remember that in addition to his gifts of skill and innovation, he was an astounding thief.  My old Professor Laure-Anne Bosselaar used to say “Good writers borrow, great writers steal.”  I think it’s a T.S. Eliot line.


Picasso is known as a pioneer of the Cubist movement, but that came out of Paul Cezanne, and was co-championed with Georges Braque.  Before that he was painting like Symbolists, and took a turn to tint it blue.  He is a revisionist, an idea man.   Later in life he sank into a consistent style: a line hinting at a face, a shaded shape hinting at movement, a system breathing its own new air.


I am no Picasso, no Art Scholar.  But I do see a link.  I start with what’s right in front of me.  Steam.  A polished cement floor.  Coffee, a banana, a pincurl of time.  Then while I watch, I write it: and while I write it, it changes.  Bob Irwin wrote a book perfectly titled Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees.  So, the challeng is to forget, to forget that you forgot, and to forge it anew.


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