Monday, March 21, 2011
Three Monsters (Sunfire, Dedalus Press 1998) is based on Francis Bacon’s famous triptych. The visceral nature of much of his work cuts straight through to feeling and so makes writing more heart-felt and immediate, that along with the mind-bending imagery which aids innovation.
Here are three monsters :
Agony, a greyhound skinned; howl.
Hollowness, a hen plucked; peck.
Dementia, a bundle of hay; scratch.
I have stood them on furniture
They were in the entrails of spirit,
I picked them out with a forceps.
I thought they looked remarkable in the light.
I thought the viewing public
might want to scrape at them
with their spatulas.
Attitude (Sunfire) came from another Bacon image, "Paralytic Child Walking on All Fours (from Muybridge)".It has probably further from the spirit of the artist’s work; somehow the image engenders feelings of pity in conveying delicacy and vulnerability.
Who owns the child
with the withered arm-wings,
who carries the mutation that weighs a tonne;
who, when the air is full of flight, hops
and hops and hops.
See how the children littering the yard
launch like torn pages into careless flight.
Like gulls they hog the sunlight
while a sea worries far below.
This is the currency.
But who owns that child,
the child with the withered arm-wings.
Whatever about the success of the poems, Bacon’s art is wonderful.