Saga For The Eyes

by John Olson


Picasso dips his brush into some celadon green. His mind swarms with swells of color, waves of red, bursts of yellow, reverberant collisions of black, contortions of green and red. He sees flames. Stars fat as the stars that Van Gogh painted on his easel in Arles, a ring of candles burning on the brim of his hat. Stars that fill the night with delirium. Energy too intense to be contained by skin. Energy that demands expression in paint. Gobs, oozing ejaculations of paint.


Picasso's fingers simmer with color and form. Jubilant abstractions. Scorching verticals. Astronomical insects. Sighs of undulant solferino.


Imagery teeming with trees finds consolation in veins of cochineal. Mutations of force and horn roar and shake.


An artist walks down the road carrying a can of kerosene and lights a handstand on fire. There is conquest under his mask.


Explain milk. Explain paint. Explain appliances. Explain the caboose. Explain the interior of the caboose. Explain the exterior of the caboose. Drift through descriptions of caboose and locomotive and paint and milk and clap your hands. Applaud the universe. Applaud the weeds. The rails. The dirt by the rails. The gravel between the ties. Silos. Distance. The sky is catching fire. The sun is melting into the ground. Explain it. Explain it with paint.


Cézanne is a saga for the eyes. The diesel of disjunction, grace of volume and edge, dynamic of line and thickness, energy of circle and stem. Cézanne's fingers redeem the brutish chaos of nature. Hurricanes of muscle honor the rupture of shape. The dynamic of form awakens in the fingers. Exclaims itself through the fingers. The thumbs. The colors plunged in form tease the eyes into a fluid arena of supple discovery.


Have you ever opened a can of paint? Pried the lid off with a screwdriver? Heard the glop of color slop in the pail? Squeeze a tube of paint? Put the bristles of brush in a gob of green or black and spread it into form and life and pyrotechnic feathers? 


The rain opens the world to light. Reflection. The salt of thought and sweat and birth and blood. Georges Braque smearing a canvas with fish. He puts a black fish on a white plate. Ecstasies of form accelerate complexities of mass.


There is a serious clash between the form of an eggplant and the taste of an eggplant. The eggplant rests on a silver tray. It is summer. A bone murmurs its secrets. A twilight pulses between the seen and the unseen.


Picasso dips his brush into some celadon green.