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Coffee cooling in the morning light.
Thank the stars and say so long to night.
Have a smoke and play the radio.
Nod to Picasso in his last chateau,
With his view of Sainte-Victoire.

You feel so lucky in your postcard life.
You’ve made a little money, got a pretty wife.
You’ve got it made. Yes, you’ve got lots of time.
You’re at the top. You’ve nowhere left to climb,
In the russet winter woods of Sainte-Victoire.

Some days you’re drifting in a crystal trance,
Set to music woven in a hazy dance.
You’re safely hid away. You never get the blues.
Life goes on but never makes the news
In the village on the slopes of Sainte-Victoire.

Another slow-rolling easy day
In the forgotten land of bread and wine.
Shotguns sound… but they’re so far away
It’s hard to hear them as a sign
Of trouble somewhere far from Sainte-Victoire.

And in your daydreams, you can hear a song
As faint as secrets spoken in a distant room,
And though its words dissolve like frost at dawn,
You hear the singing of it linger on
And echo in the stones of Sainte-Victoire.

The misted ghosts of lovers still alive
Shine on brightly in the fields at dark,
Like winter’s ice embracing autumn leaves
To float them down the small, clear river Arc
That flows along the foot of Sainte-Victoire.

Young lovers hiking upward through the rain
On the mountain’s stone, they’ll all retrace their pain,
Limned in lines you know you know by heart,
And still, you go on climbing, it’s at least a start
Towards the peak of Sainte-Victoire.

NOTE: I once lived in an apartment in Vauvenarges, France where, while sipping my morning coffee, I looked down across the town to the chateau where Picasso was buried. My wife at the time was painting in her studio apartment next to ours and our days were lazy and long, the wine fine, the food better, and we spent our days going to various sites around the town where Cezanne set up his easel to paint Sainte-Victoire.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • David July 10, 2021, 2:03 PM

    A balm to the skin sanded raw by the onslought.

  • Casey Klahn July 10, 2021, 4:19 PM

    Picasso thought of Cezanne (whose artwork graces this post) as the Father of Modern Art. He saw him as almost god-like.
    One thing Cezanne did was put a middle-finger up to the whole art establishment, former and contemporary to himself. He basically told them to suck it, and lick those balls. Do I sound harsh? That’s the way Cezanne was – a complete social train wreck. He vowed to die painting, and he got his wish. He saw little of the personal glory due him before he died, but immediately after his death, the Impressionists (these were his cohort, his rebel band, for whom he was too rebellious, yet!) went into his studio and brought up as many paintings as they could afford. Degas argued with Monet (I think it was) over a piece, saying that he had his money our first!
    Good to have unalloyed heroes.
    Oh yes…Picasso! Ok, I’m nodding to Picasso. Well written and engaging poetry.

  • LadyBikki July 11, 2021, 4:44 AM

    Coffee cooling in the morning light.

  • TANSTAFL July 11, 2021, 4:58 AM

    “. . . In the forgotten land of bread and wine.
    Shotguns sound… but they’re so far away
    It’s hard to hear them as a sign . . . “

  • Jack July 11, 2021, 7:10 AM

    Saint Victoire is beautiful and evocative of a quiet life in another world. Thank you so much for a break in life’s tedium. Al Stewart comes to mind and I believe he would love it too.

  • James ONeil July 11, 2021, 10:48 AM

    Coffee cup is in the kitchen sink.
    Perhaps I’ll have a sip of wine to drink
    A smoke, a jazzy vinyl record riff.
    Suspect that VanderLeun will get my drift
    When I say ….

  • Casey Klahn July 21, 2022, 11:47 AM

    We owe much of our (Modern) visual reality to Paul Cezanne, who labored without praise or encouragement. Probably the most courageous artist of recent history. You could disregard him, but if warfare requires courage, and moral character requires courage, then art also does. Webster’s confirms this and M. Cezanne embodies it.

  • Dirk July 21, 2022, 4:34 PM

    Weird, I see that it is the artist whom owes everything to his model or the scenery he or she paints.

    • KCK July 21, 2022, 7:50 PM

      My wife is taking a BA in art at the local state U. She asked me to summarize art history in the shortest possible manner.

      From the dawn of time until the Renaissance, mankind reported what he saw and developed his skill at depiction. Art was a a merchant class endeavor. The Renaissance invented artists. The Modern era invented art.

      Dirk, your viewpoint resides, if I may say it respectfully, in the first third of this schema. Cezanne told his immediate predecessors, the Impressionists, to take their depiction of light, and shove it straight up their collective ass. He was inventing Art with the big letter, and he had that kind of acerbic personality. He was a refugee from Paris and a hermit. He was “fuck all” for change.

  • pbird July 22, 2022, 8:14 AM

    OK. I am quite savage on the subject of poetry. But OK. Good.

  • Dirk July 22, 2022, 8:18 AM

    Hey I’m a simple man. Nothing in art is original.

    Casey not knocking your work, just seems to me those doing art, have greedily been allowed to defined their works definition. When a artist shits on a canvas, smears it around and his peers actually take the time to review Annalise, it amuses me.

    I love art, I just recognize that without stuff to paint, objects, it’s just strokes and dabs.

    I have friends in Seattle whom are artists, make their living selling their work. My art is family memory pics adorning my homes walls. Those have merit, meaning for me. Casey, I’m not a cultured man, rather primitive actually.

    I like it simply, I like the truth. As for art, my step day is well was a Berkeley grad with a masters in art. He taught high school and at some college in the Sacramento area. I never understood his style. Yet he was an artist,,,,,,why because he said so. Fine by me.

    Around here I can put six thousand rounds of ammo on the shelf, for what y friends paintings sell for. Somehow I don’t see the Chinese post invasion archiving his work.

    Paint on my friend

    • pbird July 22, 2022, 9:37 AM

      Art is whatever you can get away with!

    • Casey Klahn July 22, 2022, 12:11 PM

      pbird and you make great points. It’s very ironic – I’d like a more intensive word than “ironic,” but I’m no wordsmith – how art can be placed at the top rung of cultural awe, and yet the qualifier is when one declares himself an artist, or his work “art”. It isn’t fair, and yet it is.

      Cezanne did do new stuff. Human or intellectual property can invent new things. “There is nothing new under the sun” is Solomon’s expression of ennui. It’s not a death sentence on human growth.

      I learned recently the definition of genius (a word often associated with good art). Genius is not skill and it cannot be acquired. It is a companion spirit, and resides outside of you. Here is what genius is: you jump off a cliff, and plummet headlong toward Earth. Then, you sprout wings and fly.

      Cezanne ran headlong toward the precipice, and flung himself off. He body tackled the entire academy of artistic naysayers and officialdom, during the time of the greatest era of suppressing the new, in order to reach the cliff.

      Yes, the whole enterprise is greedy, and it’s selfish, too. But, the academy of gatekeepers were disassembled by Cezanne and Picasso and Matisse. Let’s not stand those shithead gatekeepers back up, if you don’t mind. TBH, when the next state ascends to power, should we fail in our endeavors as free men, the art they will approve will be completely narrative, and what the past called: Social Realism. Fuck. That. Shit.

      Ha ha. carry on. Well, as far as art’s worth in an apocalypse, I will note that my art heroes (Picasso and Matisse) painted right through two and a half world-level wars and blissfully ignored them. There’s a lesson in that.

      Cheers. I’m buying the next round.

      • John Venlet July 22, 2022, 12:20 PM

        Casey; off topic I know; I know I have not always been appreciative of your works in the past, but Monet C’est Moi, which Gerard has posted in the sidebar, appeals to me each and every time it crosses my gaze. I’d hang it on my wall.

        • Casey Klahn July 22, 2022, 12:36 PM

          Thanks, and that son of a bitch is actually for sale! $10 sq/in if framed, cheaper unframed.

          It has a bit of importance inasmuch as my self portraits are exhibited in NYC, and collected on Long Island, in Manhattan and L.A.

          Sits back down. Orders an absinthe.

          Thank you. TBH, I am humbly mystified when anyone looks at my work at all.

          • John Venlet July 23, 2022, 5:40 AM

            Casey, how many sq/in are we talking?

            • KCK July 23, 2022, 9:03 AM

              The Venetian with Black, Indigo & Red. 2015. Informal photo. Pastel & Oil. 18.75″ x 11.75.” Casey Klahn.

              I put my link in here to all my self portraits.

      • pbird July 22, 2022, 9:28 PM

        Thanks Casey.
        I have experienced that voice outside my own volition. It took a long time to hear it and let it speak.
        I have been making art since before dirt. lol
        I really appreciate what you said there.

        • Casey Klahn July 23, 2022, 9:04 AM

          Thanks for saying and I’m very happy for that.