Don’t Talk to me About Matisse
Don’t talk to me about Matisse, don’t talk to me about Gaugin, or even
the earless painter Van Gogh,
and the woman reclining on a blood-spread…
the aboriginal shot by the great white hunter Matisse
With a gun with two nostrils, the aboriginal
crucified by Gaugin—syphilis-spreader—the yellowed obesity.
Don’t talk to me about Matisse…
the European style of the 1900s, the tradition of the studio
where the nude woman reclines forever
on a sheet of blood.
Talk to me instead of the cultures generally—
how the murderers were sustained
by the beauty robbed of savages: to our remote
villages the painters came, and our white-washed
mud-huts were splattered with gunfire.