Picasso’s Dream, Robin Ray

Amy Casey, City Spanned, 2010, Acrylic on Paper, 20″ X 30″


Picasso’s Dream


When I woke up loose this afternoon,
peaches tasted like floorboards, my blue
guitars melted in a puddle of musical ink.

I call this unfair, being caught in Picasso’s
dream. Why are my eyes broken, nostrils
in the warring pool, spades in alien gray?

The preference of my hands on the gas,
feet on the wheel, surprises no one, not even
the heaving carburetor of my tired Comet.

If I could go on strike against wildfires,
I’d agree northern California was no place
for a thunderstorm, let alone a six-seater gas
guzzler with the muffler of a jet engine.

Still asea, four-star angels guide me to happy
hour after a successful bull run. I’ll live with
the gored thigh since I’m told bugleweed can
sprout from it with minimal shade or hassle.

Just my luck – sucked into a brutal canvas to
toast me, muted freak, and a chance to spawn
a profitless civil war in monochrome effigy.
Tomorrow, I may awaken as a horse, aflame.

Robin Ray


Review by David Memmott

I liked the progression in this poem from the fractured surrealist images of Picasso’s dream back to Comets, California and conflagrations. Three tercets followed by four quatrains brings the reader deeper into the “dream,” manifesting as a “tired comet” unmuffled and driven hard. Stanza five brings us from the literal fire of figurative fire of the biographical Picasso—happy hour and a gored thigh. I admired how the Comet (vehicle) morphed into the fire imagery all the way through to the end. Loved the last line with “horse, flame.”

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