Picasso the bohemian lived in Barcelona
Saw Dali and Miro in the window
A voyeur in a crowd

He told Venus in the center
I love how the loincloth slips off your hips
I’m going to break Dali
like the good Erastes
and introduce the world to Negro Art…
Ghetto fabulous!  You are so pink!

I will cover you in drapery
and synchronize Athenians
Still life belongs on tables
not in the hands of DWEMs

He bought the virgin in a strip joint
The most beautiful doll in the fantoccini
She was not sure she wanted to put…
Both hands behind her head

But Picasso said,
“I’m going to show Miro what it means
to talk about this and cry about that.”

Demure and coquette is the license to own
and when Picasso rolled out of his dirty tee
and curled out of his black jean
The Jewish Princess in the Bordello
saw the shadow of Picasso’s depth

In the first of two honest responses she confessed
“I don’t think I can handle that.”

In a beautiful expression of the body politic
in a perfect symmetrical V
without a vanishing or single point of reference
with pure dignity and primitive glee

In her second honest response,
She moaned through it
The Analytic cubism of the idealized Egyptian
was Dali’s daydream

At night, the abstract representation
was the Queen of Memphis

She told halcyon tales of life
uninterrupted by death
and chthonian sex
like the brazen whore in the fore
riding the fugitive cube
with the wasp waist and black aft
eucharistic grapes and the curl of the rind
pointing to glorious thighs
and with eyes in the back of her head

Watched the spectator off center watching ~
Picasso the bohemian who lived in Barcelona
Wore the mask behind the curtain
The cava on his breath
put hair on his chest

While sissies, savages, and accidental dreamers,
Inside look out at
The bohemian on the corner
fucking whores and form and space and motif
on Raval streets.

Copyright 1998 E Maria Shelton Speller. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


*Arula Records, Spoken Live! 1999



BSFA Northeastern University
CPM, SSGB George Washington University
FAWC Summr Program 2013
Oculus Launchpad 2021 Alumna


United States Air Force (USAF)
Featured Reader


ZICA Creative Arts & Literary Guild
Founding Member Boston Zone Poets