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My Own Private Guernica

Snow falls upon the Sierra de Guadarrama.
Shadows lengthen in the afternoon sun.
I could have gone to see Picasso’s ‘Guernica’ today,
but I just can’t face that capacious canvas right now.
I’m not really in the mood for abstracted strategic bombing.
I feel shot-thru with enough symbolic shrapnel as it is.
Instead I’m stood here, watching the street-walkers on the corner.
Counting the number of imported cigarettes smoked.
Counting the number of tricks turned.
The bull is just a bull. The dying horse is just a dying horse.
The inverted hidden harlequins are just inverted hidden harlequins.
I could have gone to see ‘The Garden Of Earthly Delights’ triptych.
Or ‘The Black Goyas’ (painted at home by a half-mad old deaf man),
but best I stay right here, partly hidden by the heavy curtains.
Collecting dust on my eyeballs. Slowly bleeding out.
A lemming on a clifftop.
A kitten in a gunny-sack.
I open the sallyport and close
the first door firmly behind me.
My white flag is unfurling.
I can feel my toes beginning to curl under.

Pablo Picasso's 'Guernica'

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