Improvisations on the Madness of Piero di Cosimo, No. 9

In the beginning, Piero’s madness was low-hanging fruit he let ripen upon an unpruned tree, it’s weight bending slender sucker limbs into the reach of goats. Except for the painting, he was letting everything go.

After painting the air full of the light of the day, and painting the earth full of the shadows of the land, Piero looked to see how faun-like the goats had become. They were then rearing up on hind legs to take his misshapen gnome-faced fruit. Worm-eyed the apple gnomes scowled upon the cloven hooves and horns, but then Piero said it was good. He was pleased to see beasts up on twos, and pleased to see them under that one tree, and pleased with what ever it was that lead them closer to finishing off the apples, and closer to finding the hive, then abuzz in the hollow of the lightning-struck trunk.

“The Discovery of Honey” by Piero di Cosimo

Piero’s madness was the uncut grass through which the painter’s untamed vine had escaped from a teetering arbor, then coiled around that trunk, where he once swore he heard a hissed call to the goats, who came, and then trampled into the dust all the green grass and all the pretty kinds of flowers Botticelli painted in the Prima Vera.  “Let that be a bed,” Piero said of the dry spot where he envisioned a she-faun would lie and suckle her young. By then the beasts had evolved to where they could play pipes, lyre and tabor in celebration of honey.

One night Piero took a spade to the earth, careful not to spook the goats. For someone they said lived more like a beast than a man, a little moon and a little hole was all it took to make a bed to plant a rib.

–RS

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