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Pablo Picasso 1962

My blue period arose because few

pigments were in the range I could afford.

I prematurely blossomed with rose-hued

saltimbanques.  Those dull, bullish critics gored

other artists, but I escaped attack:

a skilful matador…Who loved me best?

I’d say no woman, but my old friend, Braque.

When lovers left, they could, in truth, attest

I missed their dogs more than I missed them.  Did

I propose to Gaby?  I don’t know.  War,

its ghastly preoccupations, outbid

her for my attention.  Yes, caviare

was Olga’s favourite; I preferred sausage-

Catalan- and beans.  She wanted her face

recognisable; to be centre stage:

wanted too much from me, in any case.

her image had by then begun to fade:

I was playing with Dora Maar (a mouse),

slashing Guernica with a razor blade,

careless of mistress, as careless of spouse.

Woman becomes a suffering machine.

Some Nazis asked me: “Did you do this art?”

I replied: “No. You did.”  When black with spleen,

Francoise and I could claw each other’s heart.

She who had resembled Venus became

Christ.  Martyr.  She left me: it was her loss.

She’d been expert at apportioning blame:

“Who was it then who put me on the cross?”

I did, but, so doing, set her apart:

made her immortal in the realm of Art.