I was born on the floor of a gallery;
my mother’s blood pooling
in front of a Bacon triptych.
The audience sketched me
and derided her
as she lit a cigarette
and hauled us both to
the leather couch.
Childhood was bucolic
and mostly feral in the mansion
where God was dissected,
splayed with pins on a board
and painted around in
mint and lavender gouache
We were encouraged to
personalise all things with art;
reimagining purpose and design-
turning bath tubs into feather beds
and eating under the tables;
it was a place of libertines
re-wilded by vision.
The day my quiet sister fell into
the pond after eating codeine
she was celebrated whilst we picked out
lily stems tangled in her dark hair
and an Epic Poem was recited
although she had convulsed, refused dinner
and pissed into a palm pot;
forever altered, a changeling.
Now I slash canvas and write omens
always on the road and looking
for bread, coffee, the back seat of
a car for one night
I am free but as lonely as a cloud,
To the manor born but I’ll
choose to die in a vacant lot
with birds nesting upon me.
Is cruelty morally better if by omission rather than commission and also if aesthetically pleasing?
Does ritual enable healing?
Are personal freedom and depth of relationships on two opposing scales?