About the poet
Ahren Warner grew up in Lincolnshire before moving to London, then Paris. He is the author of...
XVIII. Before (from Lutèce, te amo)
Soutine had left Smilovitch, had left Minsk, had left Vilnius.
before Soutine had left Paris, left Céret, had left Paris
before he had left Champigny, slept rough in the forest:
and Slav, trying to avoid his billet simple to Auschwitz.
therefore, even longer before his hematemesis,
chucked up, the ulcer that ruptured, the peritonitis,
agony of a night-time drive, northwards, towards Paris,
of avoiding the Gestapo. Thus, long before Soutine’s
the bobo idyll of Le Bateau-Lavoir, its half-starved artists.
Matisse, radiance of crêpe, cancer smarting like a bitch.
Unpublished poem from Lutèce, te amo, © Ahren Warner 2012, used by permission of the author
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