share


Picasso (1964)

A canvas comprises a totality of surface

just as Spain is composed of constituent parts,

Catalunya, Madrid, hills and trees, etc.

 

Color dyes the fabric clothing form itself,

as wars and anthems unify

the body politic of mass and volume.

 

Neutral as Switzerland, the palette

confers legitimacy on every pigment it holds,

like a Roman Emperor. Zaragoza,

 

that dusty, lemon-bitter city of rough stones

with its cathedral of saints’ bones

on a plaza lacking any compensatory grace—

 

Zaragoza is but the corruption

of its Roman name, Caesar Augustus,

and so a cohort to historical inaccuracy.

 

This I propose as demonstration

that what matters is not accuracy but acts,

not chronicles but conquests.

 

The body is everything I have wished

to rid myself of through art

and failed. Yet surrender is impossible.

 

My hands persevere in the task of painting

as soldiers long after the battle is lost

carry on their raping of women in the streets.


ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR

Cambell McGrath is an American poet. He is the author of nine full-length collections of poetry, including Seven Notebooks (Ecco Press, 2008), Shannon: A Poem of the Lewis and Clark Expedition (Ecco Press, 2009), and In the Kingdom of the Sea Monkeys (Ecco Press, 2012). 



READ NEXT

poetry

November 2011

Cooper's Hawk

Elyse Fenton

poetry

November 2011

My breath’s the wind’s breathless down-stroke hasty claw like the gnarred finger of juniper just now clambering for a...

feature

Issue No. 15

Editorial

The Editors

feature

Issue No. 15

In The Art of the Publisher, Roberto Calasso suggests that publishing is something approaching an art form, whereby ‘all...

Interview

March 2017

Interview with Lidija Dimkovska

Sara Nović

Interview

March 2017

I met Lidija Dimkovska at the Twin Cities Book Festival in October, fleetingly, and completely by accident. I had...