Wednesday, 6 April 2016

April Poems 2016/06

Wasp Totem 1989

An antique night stand
supports a square of heavy glass
an artist's palette
smeared with oils and dripping linseed
a hundred brushes in jam and coffee jars
bristles to the ceiling.
The canvas sags on its heavy pine stretcher,
the weight of paint exceeding tolerance.
It may need restretching when it's dry.

The brush held loosely, upright,
the tip of the thumb on the ferrule
one-inch ox hair
stained Prussian blue from the bed
of this laboured work.
A smear of Titanium white
to highlight the hollow
of a Payne's Grey eye socket,
while Alizarin feathers allude to the violence
perpetrated on old bone
while an iridescent eye stares out
pinning the viewer
as an etymological specimen.

Outside the multi-paned windows
night falls in stop-motion.
City lights flash on the flyover
a thousand people rushing home to their families,
The reek of the chippy on Piper's Row
and the cloud of stale curry
an artist on Lea Road.

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