Picasso’s Dead Friend

Self Portrait,
1901, Oil on Canvas
Musée Picasso, Paris

In nineteen oh one The Picasso began a life shaded in a dark pale blue
although it is well known the tragedy around this pivotal period bemused
like everything else out there, there are sides to a story at least two
his friend suicided in a Parisian café over a love in which he was refused
this had a great impact on his art and you might even say haunted him too.

La Vie
1903: Oil on Panel
Cleveland Museum of Art

He was a mega narcissist and that didn’t come with his talented hands
also kind of a schmuck by regarding most people with a cold indifference
his poor treatment of great women was more legendary than his art plans
what was it about his past that made him a jerk and sometimes so relentless
his mirror image was that a fighting bull and in the ring as the matador stands.

The Death of Casagemas
1901: Oil on Panel
Musée Picasso, Paris

The ghost of his friend would return in paint again and again and again
he used painfully joyous colours freely at the death of his once good friend
the evocation came and the guilt put to rest with the burial of his shame
pale blue and dark green paint conveying the feelings of the lost and sinned
lonely and restless with guilt he sought comfort in the arms of someone Germain.

Frugal Repast,
1904 Etching


Always moving between places to stay he was there when she needed him fast
painting the desolation, unhappiness and despair are all he could display
the misery of being physically weak and poorly eating with a frugal repast
the allegory of La Vie had the face of his dead friend in a monochomed way
his dead friend’s girlfriend was there and for him she would do for some ass.

The Burial of Casagemas (Evocation), 1901 Oil on Canvas
Musée d’Art Modern, Paris

He moved into his dead friend’s flat after the burial to begin living rent free
maybe he didn’t pull the trigger but it’s entirely possible he was gaslighting
the overpowering guilt he must have felt with this terrible truth kept secretly
shagging his dead friend’s girl around the time of his death and his own emerging
he recalls this with the three dancers of love, sex and death in a Dionysian frenzy.


“Le cadavre exquis boira le vin nouveau”

“Le cadavre exquis boira le vin nouveau”

These  were  the  words  written in Paris on a  piece of paper  in 1925 at the 54 rue du Chateau.  A  cartel of renegade thinkers gathered nearly nightly with the shared  and  expressed objective of liberating  the  subconscious  for the good of all humanity and experiencing as much   pleasure as possible along the journey.  They succeeded.  The  phrase  translates  to “The exquisite corpse will drink the new wine” and appeared with a number of other phrases generated by the process of Spontaneous Automatism by a group of creative thinkers who were thinking together.  A Surrealist tool of conscious and subconsciousness unification was born and named; she is now entering societal puberty.

The  practitioners  of  Surrealism believed that since  the  Exquisite Corpse  poems represented a work of art that required more than one mind, they had  discovered a way  of fully  tapping into and liberating  the  mind’s ‘relativistic and creative capacity’ while  holding the rational intellect in abeyance.  In the final analysis, Sigmund Freud and Jaques Lacan, two of the most influential thinkers in the history of western civilization, would confirm this as fact.  Museums  all over the world  have on display examples of their  creative triumph, while history has many illustrations of the abeyance being unleashed.


A few phrases selected by Andre’ Breton in 1948 that verbally illustrate the power and potential of the subconscious.

The completely black light lays down day and night the powerless suspension to do any good.


The anaemic young girl got the waxed mannequins turned red.


Monsieur Poincaré, if you want, kisses on the mouth, with a peacock feather,

in an ardour I never saw before, the late Monsieur de Borniol.


The made-up shrimp hardly enlightens some double kisses.


Rue Mouffetard, love-shivering, amuses the chimera who shoots at us.


The very moved Pathos, thanks singing the bullet of chopped vetiver between Line and Prâline.


Caraco is a beautiful whore: lazy as a doormouse and glass-gloved for doing nothing,

she strings pearls with the turkeys of the farce.


Surrealist Poems Excerpted From: “Le Cadavre Exquis: Son Exaltation”

Catalogue: La Dragonne, Galerie Nina Dausset, Paris,