Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs at the Tate

I was aperture, I was skylight. The knife-thrower’s blades ramified in the space around me. I was a white root swimming in the dark, Icarus falling into his own chest, a clown pried open by the red-handed crowd. I saw with a wolf’s blood-drop eye how horse and rider are imprisoned by the bars of a flag. The green world warped around an hourglass shaped like the symbol for infinity. Bodies flowered forth like bladder-wrack or sentient hands as life began returning to the sea. I saw a dancer dismembering all the space in a room and a blue nude curl into a backwards ampersand. When she stood up, her arms rose on either side like quotation marks. I saw Venus, freed of her scallop shell, expand into an isthmus between two oceans. My gaze became ambitious even as the butterfly collector’s net came down and I found myself pressed into glass, attempting still to dance on the head of a pin. My death led straight into the gift shop.


6 Replies to “Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs at the Tate”

  1. Dave, great response to the exhibition – a poem in itself. As you may have seen on my blog, I was there too, unfortunately not on the same day as you. And of course Jazz has always been mi idea of a perfect artist’s book.
    See you soon.

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