Anna Percy- Poem inspired by Matisse’s Blue Nude

Anna Percy is a writer who luxuriates in rich Beatnik rhythms, creating wonderfully layered socio-politcical feminist poems without any of the one-dimensionality of much modern political poetry. She runs the Stirred Poetry collective in Manchester and is one of the most hypnotic live performers you will ever see.

You can find more of Anna’s poetry on her wonderful website.
Poem inspired by Matisse’s Blue Nude

You can see Anna performing this poem here

Tell me about the blue women
Of your acquaintance
Tell me you see the waves of electric blue,
Emanating from grey clothes,
contorted, sectioned off
head severed at the neck, held on
by empty hands,
Limbs folded protecting the body
The acute blue body
The body radiating blueness
And the cause of blueness
In its largeness, its smallness, its marks,
The drugs, the want, the need, the surplus,
Old fingerprints, its victories, its refusals.
Only blue women really sing the blues
Their treble clefs and quavers blue
Between the lines on sheet music,
On their breath, out of speakers,
In steam in showers, all unnoticed in
Tears and cheap scorching whiskey,
Trembling, cerulean fading to stonewash
In the troposphere
I am a blue woman too
After the smell of spent explosives
Dissipates on the 6th of November
Till the wilting of daffodils on 6th of April
I too am gas flame, pained,
burning up those who touch
Blue women are too sharp:
Walking blades they cut swathes unnoticed