A Picasso Blue

(The Old Guitarist, 1903)

Why viejo, bow your head
to the morning of the century?
Your age? the Age? The sad
of the hand-hewn past caught
in the racket rush of a new Now
proclaimed by the turn of a calendar’s
Each stroke of the brush
colors your music with a hint of rose, yet
still your song plays more blue
than La vie, more
grim than any dream dulled
by absinthe
or the clutter of the scraps of Le jou
(Even the brown of your guitar is a rosy-hued

How seek
with that dark slit of eye?
Your dry lips apart in song
as if singing were the same as a sigh.
But strum you on without pick or fret—
what chord can be struck to
paint how you grew
Greco-long and bent? broke-
necked and torn,
legs folded as if to fit their length like
notes played low, en
coda and brought, oil-on-wood,
to rest.

Ron Antonucci is a librarian and book critic whose reviews and articles have appeared in dozens of magazines and newspapers. He has had poems published in Whiskey Island Magazine, The Vincent Brothers Review, Pudding, Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine and I Have My Own Song for It: Modern Poems of Ohio (University of Akron Press, 2002). He was fiction editor at Artful Dodge and currently serves as a contributing editor for The Journal.