"Fences" Copyright 2000 Rain Jordan
An Entirely Fictional Story about Pablo Picasso
Part I: A Lie
Pablo Picasso originally painted "Guernica"
across his own buttocks.
The figures were small, of course — Picasso was not a large man,
but he painstakingly applied the entire scene
across the limited breadth of his backside.
Beginning with the grieving mother on his left cheek,
he brought life to the many visages of pain —
the staggering woman, the bearer of light —
the wounded horse fell awkwardly across the cleft of his ass,
and appeared to whinny slightly whenever the artist passed wind.
When the work was complete, he displayed it primarily in the bars and markets,
until he realized that his viewers tended to be impressed
more by his unique agility
than by his depiction of suffering in a small Spanish township.
It was then that he decided to paint the larger
and better known version,
which can today be found in text books
around the world.
Interlude: A Moment of Truth
a man was praised
for his artistic expression.
This man had donned a sock and a paper phallus,
and he had written the word "Lord" across his ass.
Meanwhile, the poetry of another man was deemed invalid:
it was "intellectual," was derived too much "from the neck up."
"True poetry," the critic said, "Comes from between the neck and the knees."
It comes from "the heart" and "the genitals."
Part II: The Lie Continues
After his death, Picasso's buttocks
were carefully removed and preserved, so that his greatest work
would not simply rot with the rest of his corpse.
The right buttock has not left Spain;
at least, not since its removal from the artist himself.
The left, however, ran the museum circuit for several years,
eventually passing through The Met in New York City,
where I had opportunity to view it for myself.
The detail was magnificent, even with only half the work present,
but it was the bull that really caught my attention.
It was less distorted in this version, its eyes being properly
placed on opposite sides of its head.
The impression that it left, however, was just as powerful
as that of the more tortured visage that we all know.
After a moment of pondering,
I realized that it was actually the placement of the figure
on the bare flesh of a human buttock
that elevated the otherwise ordinary beast
to the realm of high art.
Conclusion: Truth and Analysis
This evening, I heard a man tell his fiancée,
"You can either be a woman or an achiever: a woman or a whore."
This is called "cultural difference."
This afternoon, I said,
"A sock on a schlong on a man on a stage is not art."
This is called "oppression."
I have been told that I am an elitist.
I will not argue.
Copyright 2000 Alexander C. Danner
All Rights Reserved
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