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Giverny, 1926

ISSUE:  Spring 1996

Art is art. Everything else
is everything else.

        Ad Reinhardt

Monet at the bridge,
sour in his dark suit,
suddenly cannot abide
this careful tedium
of cameras, the idiotic

question of his hat,
the glass plates,
the flat, inverted lie
seen through the lens.

Monet at twilight,
walking arm in arm
with dear old Rodin,
stops to tell the joke:
sculpture is what trips you,

stepping back
to look at your painting.
Rodin starts to laugh, but only
the smell of earth comes out.

Monet in the rowboat
lights another caporal,
matchstick cupped
against the wind. He is
an old man, frowning

at the open lens.
He has seen enough
of lily pads, and this damned
bridge, going nowhere.

Monet in the garden,
hat pulled low, asleep
in a slatted chair.
He dreams of the house
at Argenteuil—

his footsteps
echo in the empty rooms—
the garden grows untended,
proud of its tall weeds.


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