Henri Matisse dans son appartement de Nice, fin des années 1910
Don’t talk to me of love. I’ve had an earful
And I get tearful when I’ve downed a drink or two.
I’m one of your talking wounded.
I’m a hostage. I’m maroonded.
But I’m in Paris with you.
Yes I’m angry at the way I’ve been bamboozled
And resentful at the mess I’ve been through.
I admit I’m on the rebound
And I don’t care where are we bound.
I’m in Paris with you.
Do you mind if we do not go to the Louvre
If we say sod off to sodding Notre Dame,
If we skip the Champs Elysées
And remain here in this sleazy
Old hotel room
Doing this and that
To what and whom
Learning who you are,
Learning what I am.
Don’t talk to me of love. Let’s talk of Paris,
The little bit of Paris in our view.
There’s that crack across the ceiling
And the hotel walls are peeling
And I’m in Paris with you.
Don’t talk to me of love. Let’s talk of Paris.
I’m in Paris with the slightest thing you do.
I’m in Paris with your eyes, your mouth,
I’m in Paris with… all points south.
Am I embarrassing you?
I’m in Paris with you.
John William Waterhouse (1849-1917), Psyche Opening the Golden Box, 1903.
Pompeo Batoni. Detail from Diana and Cupid, 1761.
I Love Art → Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901)
You know how this ends. There’s nothing you can do to change it, so make peace with it now. Ready your hands for the callus, shred the cloth for bandages, prepare the rosaries.
When you meet him, outside the grocery, along the boardwalk, beneath the overpass, you will not know what he is. He will be neither be too charming nor too handsome, not thunder, not polish
The day you fall in love, his mouth will spill your name. He will repeat and repeat. He will not touch you. He will watch your hips, study whatever ample you have, will ask to watch you dance. When you turn to leave, he will use your name like a choke chain.
He will call you miracle. Your face will unravel. This is his magic. When he begs you promise, say yes.
When he offers his lips, take them. Take his arms, his throat, take his toes when he offers. Gorge. Swallow everything whole. Gag. Vomit. Swallow more. Do not hesitate. No time for polite, or coy. Take.
When the minions call you whore, nod.
He will tell you of the others. How they went crazy in their sleep awaiting his return. Do not flinch. Do not doubt your thickened fingertips. Stand upright. You promised.
When you find him in his room, thrashing the sheets, pressing his palms into the walls, howling, his face a river… close the door. This is how he makes wine. Leave him in his sorcery.
When he explains that he cannot love. That he will never be yours alone. When he tells how the meek, the gluttons, the tempted, the proud are his angels, do not mourn. Smile, feed him, wash his hair.
He is a king among thieves. The leeches will hollow his skin, the crows reduce him to bones. His own heart will empty him. Allow for the bleed. Be ready with tourniquet and prayer.
In the dry burn of dawn, after the last of the lashes, the thorns and the spittle, when his limp body is laid at your feet, remember the night you loved him, the ember of his eyes and the way the words came like honey.
You were made for this.
Lessons on Loving a Prophet - Jeanann Verlee