Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Picasso can't be confused with any other painter.

Arnoldo García

In "Late Picasso," covering the last two decades of his life and art production, Picasso re-examines, remarks, re-evaluates and takes off from his own work and those of his peers and ancestors. He does not re-paint, he does not repeat himself as much as builds on his oeuvre, visiting, no retaking and occupying, the highest vantage points of his work. Late Picasso is a deeper, newly found Picasso. Older yet now slower. He is quoted as saying that in while one one day he draws and sketches and paints hundreds other painters spend 100 days on one painting.

A painter I admire much once told me that Picasso was over-rated. I did not ask after her why. Poring over each page of "Late Picasso," squinting at the paintings reproduced, he has completely reached another level, twisting-inside-out of the skin of Cubism, distortions that create a new lens of focus. While some of his late work may appear to verge on the sloppy, closer and closer inspection says otherwise. yes, his precision changed but his output didn't. In the 20-volume catalog of his complete work, more than half was produced during the period covered by "Late Picasso."

In art, in poetry, in painting, there are no accidents. In Picassos, there were no accidents.

Picasso painted his daily life, made meaning from his studio, from his relationships to women and other painters, friends and political unfoldings. Picasso made a chronology of art and the artist of a new type out of the life of his imagination. Picasso feared death, dying. This spurred him on to paint and paint, knowing that one day -- whether alive and incapacitated by age or dead, which to him we're the same -- he would not be able to. Picasso made many drafts and versions of his work, from sketches, to paintings to sculpture and collages. He then would paint his paintings, create sculptures from his paintings, an auto-locura [a self-crazyness], creating in the process a new process and fusion of what he had produced and accomplished and then some.

One of my favorite poets wrote that it was a crime for a poet to not write, to not produce poetry, every day. Picasso acted in the same way, literally to the day he died. For us, Picasso not painting was a crime to humanity.

Picasso evolved and emerged out of himself a few times over, a butterfly emerging out of the one cocoon where he created several lifetimes. Not reinventing himself but becoming a creator anew, not stuck on his accomplishments, pushing himself -- and in the process art, artists and us viewers-- to new limits.

Maybe many of us would have stopped, and maybe even the majority of work forgotten, after painting "Guernica." Picasso did no such thing. Ceramics, sculpture, collages, mural-sized paintings, poetry, theater, love making in all, Picasso's work will take many more eyes and generations to settle accounts. His last painting was an open work, yet to be finished or even started. The last painting? He left a blank canvass, signed: Picasso.

Over-rated? Maybe.

Great, yes.

Individual, yes.

No one will confuse Picasso with anyone else other than Picasso.

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Found poem | Piercings

just in sudden silence
the sound of bones and flesh tearing
the sound of a mouth being beaten
in our eyes
you (with emphasis)
in the heart,
where the mind and the emotions
are jailed
I disappear
in the Nez Perce
place of creation,
Heart of the Monster,
heading towards Kamiah, Idaho.
your mamá (not your mother)
without tongue, with cut tongue, with tongue removed
he, she, or us
lit all through the night
I reappear in
the ghost’s trail
the Milky Way...


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

We are all picassos

We are all Picassos.
Todas y todos somos picassos.
My DNA is digital
my besos are analogue
I spin through space
two eyes here
two mouths there
the mother displaced, distorted, missing in Michigan 
the father invisible, drowned,
dismembered on the canvas of fertile grandmothers

I arrived piece by piece across the migrant spectrum of soul
I will be buried and the earth will be whole again and again
My fate is twisted, a twister, a storm of tenderness
My days are here with you
My nights become DNA,
I spin and float reassemble
myself in your bodies
I ghost other worlds
parallel soul parking
fitting carefully between two bodies

My love is DNA
my hate is analogue
Borderless not wireless
My head leans against the head of Coatlicue
My ears are pounded by the drumming
of wars plummeting through my skin

We are all artists
our tongues the brush
our veins the palette of colors
the rio bravo pleading to jump tracks
and wash herself of the maquiladora blood
Picasso made flesh offerings for our eyes to see
Guadalupe buried our placenta in her cries

Today is the day I will eat prickly pears with lemon and chile
smile against the sun
know that everything and everyone I love
will burst from my pores and my senses will make clouds
free the rain from the prison of pipes, asphalt and dams
Two or three more world wars
Ten, twenty, thirty revolutions
Where we disarm the men with guns and pigmentation
we'll get it right
we'll figure out how to be together
dance and not damn ourselves together
Our bodies return whole to the spiderweb,
gently feed the cosmos...

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Si Rafael Alberti hubiera sido campesino...

Si Rafael Alberti hubiera sido campesino
Yo soy campesino
marinero en la tierra,
migrante de las olas y las ondas semilleras,
navegante sin papeles y fronteras
Refugiado en los zurcos de nuestra América
poesía de pala, azadón y tractores
marinero en las labores de la verdura y la ternura...

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

human status for all | viva la tierra/earth lives

human status for all:
all animals,

Animal status for all:
the blind,
the deaf,
the mute,
the undocumented,
the rich,
the technocrats,
the evil bankers,
the neoliberalists,
the corporativists...

On earth day,
all power to the animal people,
the web of life,
the natural world without us...


Thursday, January 29, 2015

Non-utopias | arnoldo garcía

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The options
our journey
are narrowing/
a super storm
a deep drought
an arctic quarry
an ocean drowning nations
a war of narco-utopians

have become
following the gravitational fields of their soul
ghost buffalo bringing back the humans
aztec dancers joining the swirling galaxies
disappeared women chanting away the desert graves
The transition has become forlorn
no socialist, communist, anarchist realm
awaits on the other side of the barricades or the borders
Your body
has become
the most feared weapon
the only organism capable of self-destruction
destroying the habitat of our ancestors' womb
or restoring our place in the geo-cosmic formation of planters | gatherers
The capitalist realm
The one percent of the one percent
The country of those
who take
the fat of the unborn
have broken the circle,
their circle with humanity
No space ship
No virtual reality
No acid trips
No latter day saints
can transport them out of this christian mess
They crucify the new Jesus on drones
They bomb the new Mohammed at weddings
They grovel at the lungs of our last new Buddhists breath
The holy story has never referred to us the immigrant-indian landless shadow
The holy story is emptiness, erasing our names with zeros, ones and police guns
Nobody understands that our story is in the soil
Nobody realizes that our voices roar, hum and weave the rivers and ocean waves
Nobody who is white or gullible of their shadows understands.
There is no industrial solution
There is no socialist revolution
There is no European pagan sun
Einstein's theorems
Marx's das kapital
My grandmother's plants and prayers
are no match for this problem born in 1492...

The revolution is to be human:
Leave the natural world alone
Turn off
Tune in
Go off-line?
Only the wind, the dust, the waters, the moon, the sun, our smiles are wireless
The rest is either a fiction or a faction of our imagination.
We fight for the right to be in our black and brown skins without fear
We fight for the right to live in community with the natural light
We fight for the right to sing our song in any key in any tone in any frequency
so that bees and butterflies are not molested
so that maize and pollen are free to make love with humans and insects
We have arrived
at the shores
of a broken world
beatened men
impaled women
unlucky new borns
who have inherited a war of worlds
payable through an electronic debit plan
You cannot download utopia or useless ancestors
Your laptop will never have enough memory to install the new old world...

Sunday, January 25, 2015

what is lost | arnoldo garcía

I cannot take back
what I lost
what I lost
now belongs to another
If I take back
what I lost
I will have to take it away
from another I
I cannot take back
what I lost
what I lost
is only found in my memory
a body that needs another
to be found
to be whole
to be un-lost
without having to take back
from another
who is just
another I
Another I
who is lost
And cannot take me back
without taking away from me
what is lost...