Painting in Squares for Dora Maar

After Pablo Picasso, Weeping Woman, 1937

Oh, Dora
look here: look at your muse.
the little man who painted in cubes.

he’s made a picture of you
and called it ‘weeping woman’.

Your Hamlet has struck you across the face
and pushed you head-first into the reeds –
perfect, darling Dora. the light is hitting your tears in just the right spot. don’t move:
your body’s something for me to annihilate every decade.

Oh, Dora – don’t you see this is how he destroyed your past:
a single, blood-stained glove kept hidden under the stairs.

a drowned woman.
a goddess.
a doormat.

a woman trapped in a spider’s web.
a portrait of a woman on fire.

this woman is perfected, don’t you see?
the only good woman is a dead woman
the only good woman is a woman on canvas.

in black and white,
you lovingly documented his greatest hellscape

and in return
he stole your name
and taught you how to paint in squares.

Featured artwork: Weeping Woman, Pablo Picasso, 1937, Photo: © Succession Picasso/DACS 2023 reproduced here for non-commercial use with the intention of education and discussion.


In a dream, you saw a way to survive, and you were filled with joy.


Help keep the lights on.

find us on: