Monet – Impression #1

Impressionism has haunted me for some time now.  Its paintings are ghosts in my memory, while the brushstrokes linger in uncomfortable corners of an otherwise ordered salon.

You can disobey the rules of the Salon, like you can’t disobey the rules of the Académie.  The preachers of the status quo must always be respected; their work are the clay feet of an ancient Establishment.

Is that the green light that we must row to?  To whom are our backs turned, as we make our way across choppy waters?  Are those my footprints I leave in the water, or are they yours?  – but I will pull you back with a twitch upon the thread…

I would like memory to be my theme, but the present is getting in the way.  Your reflection gave way to symbols in a reflected world, and my body yearned for you all the same because that’s what you do when youth still runs quick in flowing veins, of ink or blood.

And the mountain gave way and I could not clasp your hand.  You fell.  Hard.  With others.  What an impression that left upon my naïve spirit.  Not a gentle watercolour tampon, but a heavy-handed judicial estampe of brutal roads.

Winter was supposed to come again.  We are still waiting, me and my friend.  The one who came to see me off at the station on that cold winter’s day back in 2009.  We left bottles of champagne in the snow, monuments in the Alps of a Dionysian defeat.  Isn’t there a snapshot of this most hedonistic times?

Or are they too being burned in the furnace of technology?  The constant recycling (read DESTRUCTION) of old material, discarded puppets in a Fellini short, your fallen glove upon the muddy pavement.  These are all our memories offered up for sacrifice.

And I write.  I write in the night that dares the fight against those heinous crimes that defile our times; with rhymes against crimes, the measured tongue of an Englishman might just overcome a boundary or two of first impressions to dig deeper:


Le printemps maladif a chassé tristement
L’hiver, saison de l’art serein, l’hiver lucide,
Et dans mon être à qui le sang morne préside
L’impuissance s’étire en un long bâillement.

Des crépuscules blancs tiédissent sous mon crâne
Qu’un cercle de fer serre ainsi qu’un vieux tombeau,
Et, triste, j’erre après un rêve vague et beau,
Par les champs où la sève immense se pavane

Puis je tombe énervé de parfums d’arbres, las,
Et creusant de ma face une fosse à mon rêve,
Mordant la terre chaude où poussent les lilas,

J’attends, en m’abîmant que mon ennui s’élève…
– Cependant l’Azur rit sur la haie et l’éveil
De tant d’oiseux en fleur gazouillant au soleil.

The eye loses itself in the pages of a book that was not written for her.  Though her shoes tell a different story, what is the story that I am reading?  Who are these characters dancing before my mind’s vision, another snapshot of a view that you will never see?

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