(After Picasso’s The Blind Minotaur etchings in The Vollard Suite)
A bullish salesman cornered the Pyrenees;
selling oriental rugs to the bourgeoisie.
One day the razor dropped. The bathroom mirror cracked.
Another bull emerged. Horns ripping the carpet.
Desiring freedom from his family, that
unending maze of debit and credit,
a former chic resident of the city of Pau
became an unshaven minotaur.
Two boys, two girls and a severed wife
were his mental snacks inside the labyrinth.
When Theseus came, in the guise of a reluctant daughter,
we wrongly imagined him yielding an axe to kill you,
when all along it was Ariadne (with her gentle string)
vacillating over the right way out.
When you pulled her against your body,
on that aimless sullen afternoon,
innocence was cleaved.
Sales targets — now hard, erect and profitable.
The old bull redeemed his catchment area.
After violation, Ariadne, at fifteen,
had no other choice but to blind you.
Lost girl, with a fluttering dove,
now leads the bull with white stick,
fearfully, at night, through the border country.
He arrives at Biarritz harbour
never to see the fishermen,
the sail of the ship
or view the stars from the river.
Minotaur salesman blocked
from the voyage back
to carpet a waiting floor
or furnish a simpler home.