Saturnalia Ed Foster



Dry Landscapes in Cezanne

         for Simon Pettet


A long time imagining these do not hurt:

discord, rebellion, something letting go—

contention as a pleasure

to the celebrant: his language as a dream


to tell us how we know the voice

in spite of color, texture, mood.

(As if the medieval sacrament were grey

or in the sacrifice, his blood were dry.)


In solitude, we see him

as if one who makes his forms

in such a way that no one else will know

that orange, brown and green are false.


He makes us think that we, as subjects, are alone.

it’s always he who is inside:

as if he kept the sound so low

we’d barely hear the voice beneath the form.


Intensities of color disappear;

his pigments thin around the edge

and, loosened from the canvas,

their syllables break free.


Sweet phrases seem to be his

celebration; corridors

of pleasure on the way to rhetoric,

as if he had no reason to atone.

next previous index