Monday, August 3, 2009

Francis Bacon, 1909 - 1992

“the man who paints those dreadful pictures”
-Margaret Thatcher

Oscar, today I wish you lived here,
more than other days, when we are just
chatting about the heat and wine,
because today,
was the kind of day you would have liked,

and I didn’t know before I went,
that was it all teeth,
empty vacant eyes,
upside mouths,
skin flung to the floor,
or that Bacon would make these little
pen thin strokes, making cages
around his victims,
that he trapped in soundless glass boxes,
with nothing but their own screams,

and Oscar, it was one room after another,
it just kept going,
and in each space, you felt your stomach
flip like a rollercoaster,
except Bacon made this coaster out of the
spines of your loved ones,
and it was a nightmare brought to life,
but not the kind you run away from,
the kind that just stops you for a moment, in awe.
The kind you can’t look away from. Ever.

And then in the end it was just poor Frankie
all alone,
prostrate in grief,
his head in his hands.
Prometheus was gone,
the Furies were gone,
Dyer was gone.
It was one man alone with his head on a sink
locked in the space his love died in,
with no one left to paint but himself,

and I left the museum thinking
that the word “artist” gets thrown around a little too much
is used a little too loosely by people with nothing to lose,
and that I should work a little harder
that we should all be working a little harder,
at being butchers,
pulling out our vertebrae,
peeling muscle from bone,
unpacking the physical,
and therefore undoing the ethereal,
one by one
tacking them to the canvas
and never looking back.

1 comment:

  1. This diptych on Bacon is spot-on. Excellent work.

    If you publish them together, I think this one should follow "Francis Bacon Told the Truth."