Is an English painter and writer and has collectors in twenty countries. He lives like one born skinless in a rough world, but finds comfort in his studio and at his laptop. His work circles human beings, their vulnerability and complexity.
THE SO-CALLED LIVING
We lit a candle for her,
although they turned off the ventilator days ago.
It burned through a Louisiana evening
whilst she lay waxy in a California mortuary.
Stainless steel and staff, the sound of winter’s last tree frogs,
the bayou on its way,
and families searching for feelings.
Why do we always want explanations?
How slowly does a human body cool?
Room temperature and the decomposition of memories,
rubber heels down long corridors in the facility, couple of
voices somewhere in the maze of rooms
like a failing engine across a winter landscape.
Evelyn turning and saying something casually:
a piece of film on the cutting room floor, raining
with others through the gratings of tomorrow.
Perhaps this is what they mean by rest.
Rest in pieces wrest from a woman thinking, gesturing,
dealing with the details here.
All the time parts of our lives are turning to stone,
the chill seeping into a debtor’s look in our eyes, but for nothing:
she’s walking, extremely busy, a marvelous amnesia
soaking away the stains of an overemphasized life!
Hunched in a drizzle of departure we take an attitude,
certain about unknowable truths and aging Olympically,
while the so-called dead mourn the irretrievable loss
of the so-called living.
CHEEK TO CHEEK
When you send your love
angled so as to catch her attention,
who is the ghost?
An earth that occurs in a Bible page micrometre of time
and is then gone, is transparent,
a film across time,
with longing voices always,
messages and echoing hopes
for the silent and moving mouths of wraiths,
passing inside open windows
on lives hardly remembered
by those hardly remembered.
Yet through all its insubstantiality,
between those infinitely distant
and cheek to cheek by turns.