I don’t know how Bacon could have worked
within his hoarder’s hell of old paint brushes
and tins of turpentine, perhaps the stark

monochrome backgrounds of his canvases
could only exist in his painted world
and bland, corporate penthouse offices

where no artistic reveries unfurl,
despite the spot paintings and skyline views
of London streets where Foxtons minis trawl

for where the artsy types are moving to.



I’m no art expert, but I can tell
that this full blooded flush of evening light
has caused all painters and poets to fail

and can’t be pickled in formaldehyde.


Here are things no one has ever painted:
the blurry dark beyond the coach window;
the way the sun shines through your closed eyelids;

those floaty eye worms; the cold, sharpened glow
of sunset on a meteor; a dream;
the first true vision that you came to know

when you first opened your eyes in the womb.

Canto XXIX

One thing I learned today from Martin’s paintings
is how we love to watch the skies turn red—
the rivers boil, mountains disintegrating,

the clouds of ash, heavy as molten lead—
from vantage points of dull security.
And when we step away and look ahead

to view heaven’s torpid serenity—
the creepy cherubs and white robed caucasians,
libido-botomized for eternity,

an ecstasy devoid of titillation—
I’m quick to step outside, switch on my phone,
rekindle my appreciation

for all these fleeting days in Babylon.

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