First published January 2012 at On Barcelona
Joan Miró, Barcelonian Barcelonero Barceloner, or what you will, but as I, and I say this with some modesty, am myself a toiler in the plastic arts, and I as well have the peacock's tail that bites, and smile, myself, like bats before a charred corpse - for all that, you see, I feel some special right to proclamate, if that, indeed, is the word. But actually I need no words, only the idea of the breath of Venus bowing a harp of sea-grass on Barcelona beach. On tablecloth. On barefoot maggot necklace pooping canary feather in Homer's cauliflower ear across warm Mediterranean water. I met him there under phosphorescent sky with metallic smell of cypress on the breeze. We buy pornography in the Bible, sell it in flea markets, chortle, and go off to marry the goddess of some storm while the others spread legs in Byzantine splendor on backs of red rusted cargo trucks. It was our promise to work large with gouache, lock worge with gosh, lock wits with god, forgo pastels, and crystallize all memory of loss on tiles - this last on commission for the church, so that was good for cash at last. We never saw him naked, but children love him. We never brought the feather duster to the mailman, nor rocket wings or waterfalls. We loved her as a butterfly in poppies, the three of us like a jealous thumb incising panther figures on the belly of the cathedral, all the while, still, that sense of futility pecking at the heart of loveless sex: that balcony view of the redheaded girl vanished in salt water, the dissolution of the Republic, I mean, and no amount of rainbow shade or crescent moon could burn away the hollow arch in memory, the needled breast, the butterfly woman tanned salty resting at the foot of the breathless sea. We parted then, going deeper in violence in our unknown ways, revealing the beautiful in the ugly - our separated journeys spiraling away always from the center of the other, until we had never known each other. It is only in hysterical moonlight that he remembers me, and sensing this, of bones and skulls I made a rattle, and shaking it in the night, drive him back like breath, or sadness.