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
of pleasure on the way to rhetoric,
as if he had no reason to atone.
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