I’ve heard the phrase between you
and me too many times to believe
it to be true, but between me and you
there was Cocteau, wagging his testimonial
finger, as usual, while flat out on the floor
with my arms in receipt of the flower
of thought, palms upwards, I envisaged
the inside eyes of his hands remaking words
for a song that is a drawing that is a film —
that is, a poem; and in the middle of all this
the books on the shelves float down while
falling upwards, slipping out of their jackets
as the naked petals of their pages turn
into mirrors, which is to say, they blossom.
Notes on the PoemIn a brief and skillfully spare poem, Rachael Boast captures and sparks our interest in an eclectic artistic figure. Almost nonchalantly, she segues to and conjures a vivid visual tribute to art so suffused with romance that we're left both breathless and enchanted, all in short order. Starting with the poem's title, the references to multifaceted 20th century artist Jean Cocteau will inspire rich explorations outside of the poem, where we can travel down multiple rabbit holes learning more about the life and diverse output of the artist, and can have as our soundtrack the contemporary music to which the poem also nods. That Cocteau's artistry is impossible to classify is at the heart of the poem: "I envisaged the inside eyes of his hands remaking words for a song that is a drawing that is a film — that is, a poem" ... indeed, he and his work are all of those. From there, Boast creates a lush, almost voluptuous image of the power of books that is sensual, striking and unforgettable. It even echoes an image of Cocteau seemingly afloat in his own work.