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Playing

by John J. Trause


Inspired by the painting The Piano Lesson (1916) by Henri Matisse.

This is not a pretty picture:
See the violation of pink by gray by green.

The boy Pierre peers over the piano (he really looks
like he's lying in bed
with his head
up
lying on his belly -
but we see this only in obscurity).

The metronome casts its flip-flopped, flesh-colored shadow
(we say "peach" or "neutral" nowadays)
Across his face and head, marring him violently
(we think of baby Jessica McClure fresh from the well)
Across his forehead.

On his right, our left
(in bed) he dreams of the giant, green obeliscal metronome,
The music rack-now-bedstead Javanesed against the background,

          

And his little brown mother fingering herself in the corner
(succubating him, playing with herself), his mother,
Who stands behind him, half-mother,
Half- ("white metal") appliance,
Handling a light blue apron                                        pee pee

A little candelabrum peeps at prepubescent Liberace:

This is not a pretty picture,
But a lesson to us all.

PLAY

 



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