Charles Wright: from “Homage to Paul Cézanne”
The dead are a cadmium blue.
We spread them with palette knives in broad blocks and planes.
We layer them stroke by stroke
In steps and ascending mass, in verticals raised from the earth.
We choose, and layer them in,
Blue, and a blue, and a breath,
Circle and smudge, cross-beak and buttonhook,
We layer them in. We squint hard and terrace them line by line.
And so we are come between, and cry out,
And stare up at the sky and its cloudy panes,
And finger the cypress twists.
The dead understand all this, and keep in touch,
Rustle of hand to hand in the lemon trees,
Flags, and the great sifts of anger
To powder and nothingness.
The dead are a cadmium blue, and they understand.