Jul 312014

Picture by Tony Noble
Artist: Tony Noble

A week later

Have ignored all his texts apart from sending one: tanx 4 inspiration. Plumber poem completed! Am on a poetry roll. Novel manuscript buried under armchair – no longer dwell on it.

Male model

On a black sheet on a mattress in the quietness
he lies on his back, legs crooked up, dog-like,
looking at the skylight, his navel a slit-eye,
scrotum a bulky pocket, belly a flat white plate
panting a little but now subsiding, penis lazily
flopped as he goes sleepy, jaw slackening.

Nine artists inspect him from drawing boards
propped up on chair-backs, or from easels.
Rapt. Muttering. Measuring. Picking out fingers,
his mucky-soled feet; getting his angles, his eyes.
They remake him in charcoal, in soft dark pencil,
the black spideriness of an armpit, of the groin.

A watercolourist paints the faint tee-shirt line
on his extended arm. A painter in oils pulls a fine brush
along a leg, translates him – gentian, aquamarine.
An architect plots out the graph of limbs, torso,
how one thigh divides from the other thigh,
the head’s easy tilt, mouth open slightly

as the man dozes, eyes disappeared,
abdomen shallowly rhythmic, the fan heater
sighing to the end of a cycle, clicking off
then clicking on again. A plane flies over.
Someone coughs. The subject’s eyes
flicker up to the ceiling again then close

while a pen in the grip of a nail-biter’s hand
makes jagged marks around the stark man-shape
on the black sheet, a man asleep
being broken down into the parts of himself,
who is no more nor less than a man;
who is on his back, dog-like.

[published in KUNST]


to subscribe leave your email address