Mar 262015

Picture by Martin Hannavy
Artist: Martin Hannavy

Dougal’s studio, late March

Rowan hugs me.

‘Suki. I’m really really sorry. The group thinks you’ve just had a nasty flu. I’ve been thinking about you a lot. Come to my boat again. Please.’

As I’m unfolding my bicycle at the end, he puts a note in my hand. At home I read his quite good poem.


and I wonder, as I paint her singleness –
so poignantly alone, up there on the podium
in the freezing studio where the rest of us
have kept our coats on, her skin pimpled, bluish,
seeing a quiver ripple up her I wonder whether
taking off her clothes, boots and ear-rings
and ridding her mouth of lipstick (she does this;
wipes it off on her forearm leaving her face stark naked)
whether letting her body be so coldly looked at,
strip lighting so harsh, so unforgiving, whether
letting herself be treated so badly – all our eyes
poking into her in this bare, chilly art-room –
is an act of madness, or a mid-life crisis
or her crying out like a masochist Hurt me.


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  2 responses to “Page 46”

  1. Brilliant, a fab poem. I don’t have to suffer the cold studio that Suki does, and I wouldn’t, but I wonder which of the three reasons it is – if any of them – that makes Suki “bare” it!

    Probably simply her dedication to the job.

    • Thanks Bea. Why do we do anything?

      Maybe our will to live is sustained by feelings. By feeling things. Whether it’s good or bad: trauma, love, sadness. At least we’re having a reaction to something; we’re relating. Engaged. The pilot who has killed himself and 149 others, this 26 year old boy who lived with his parents – maybe he just never felt anything. Maybe what he did was an experiment n the sheer novelty of feeling. He must have been feeling so intensely while he did it.