Thursday, 5 December 2013

Poem on Francis Bacon

Putrefying flesh; the spirit of an age

and the life of Bacon’s Man
Poor, mean, ugly, British and short
With a nod to Hobbes’ Leviathan

My work is not violent
Reality does that so much better

Fifty years ago
Bacon was elevated to the status of a God
while showing us everything most vile
about sex between man and man
“You are born, you fuck, you die.”
It made me mad, it made me want to cry.

Fifty years from now
I want to see these pictures
on the walls of Auschwitz
a lasting, memorable tribute
to man’s inhumanity
to man  

his flesh so pink
not cooked
just melting
in the pan.

The subject is subjected
he squirms, twists, turns
to not be seen

He took the perfect order
beauty in the images he found
and “messed” with them
distorted them
disturbed them
till the goodness
like blood and puss
upon the ground.

His crucifixions
are self portraits
they stare back at us
not in transcendence
but to condemn

the ones who dare to gaze upon
man’s violence
on his fellow man.

We are voyeurs, not viewers
holding on to what would not be held
within our looking, in our gaze

his victims desire escape
they try to vanish
seeking to be lost in a haze.

He gives us antidote to beauty
a kind of porn that is not porn
for everything that could be beautiful
is smudged or torn.

He tells us we are born
just to fuck
and die
yet this is what our galleries
and muse-eums
are keen to buy

I wonder, why?

©Nick Owen                                             December 2013

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