Poetry Workshop

Attended a poetry workshop earlier today at the Fitz, across town. Harvested some of the more reasonable products below – four in response to artworks I’ve included (doubled up on the Rodin), and the last a prompt. Rough works, but hopefully of some service.


Large Clenched Hand
(Grande main crisp


Vitality expressed in its
moment of expungence.
Pain, cast in metal.
The body radiating
its emotion, its anger
and its revolt,
using nothing more than

Masculine, this could be
the hand of Laocoön
as he grapples with
the serpent coils of
his pride-wrought fate.

Ah! Pride!
Whomever this hand
belongs to, it is a
proud man.
The despair, the anger
expressed in the rictus
clench could signal
no less
than a will
-a prideful will-
roundly thwarted.


FIT167215 David and Goliath, c.1857 (oil on canvas) by Degas, Edgar (1834-1917); 63.8x80 cm; Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge, UK; French,  out of copyright

David and Goliath


Dun, nude, loose.
Your colours, the olive green,
the dirty taupe,
evoke your crude life,
your barbaric
brutish existence.

There could never have
been honour won that
Honour requires grace,
and there is no grace to
be found
in the rude, shifting
muck of your lives.


Large Clenched Hand
(Grande main crisp


Even in My agony,
Beset by the cruelties of
the World
You will not take Me
I refuse this fate
I despite your arrows
of Inevitability

I am a Man
and though You
would snuff Me out,
You cannot deny that I have been



A street, possibly in Port-Marly, 1875-77


I see your view
the view that you
moulded, filtered and
And I deem it good.
Masterful, even. Yet,
it is not the skill
of rendering the sky,
nor the evocation
of the shadow,
nor any of the many other
elements of quality that
make me pause.


It is simply
the way you write
your name.
The clumsiness of it.

Did you, too,
regret the ugliness
of your hand?
Did you
look on that text
and grow sad
at its lack of finesse?

Six characters, rough-written,
express more
than the painting entire.
Just as you reworked
what you saw, so do I
import my own assumptions.
whatever phantasms I conjure,
whatever gross errors I commit,
I am left
with that sliver of Truth.
You and I,
We are brothers.



screwed to one another,
hanging together loosely, unevenly
set atop flags of repurposed concrete.
A shoddy affair, made in an amateur manner
but fit to purpose.
Good enough to hold back the spilling
You can remember the damp grit of it, even
now –
you can still feel it in your mouth, that
not-quite-earthy taste,
that roughness you knew,
even then, was doing
damage to your teeth.
How many hours did you spend there,
building imaginary worlds
which, god-like, shifted to your every whim?
Shifted, like so much sand.
Solitary hours – yes, there were times
you were joined, where your pantheon
doubled, trebled – but it was never as
good as when there was but a
single will – a direction unfettered
by compromise.
A tyranny enlightened
and self-contained.
Contained by a set of 2×8’s
screwed to one another
and hanging together,


Posted on January 30, 2016, in Pink Poesy and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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