bent nail


As moth voyeur’s to a boudoir keyhole flame they gather
each and every one on a ‘look but don’t touch’ promise
they queue as only the bloated ignoramus connoisseurs can to glimpse
salivate and add critique as the jaundiced eye of vindictiveness demands
at the highlight of the nouveau-rich exhibition of pigeonhole virtuosity
namely the perfect trophy muse reclining, fully nude of course

The artists of The Emperors New School of This and That and Whatever
in beauty’s name vie for flawless skin, chocolate box smile and malleable mind
of the girl in the garret studio now portrayed just right for telescopic eyes
she a memento, bedded and one day perhaps, yet not for love, wedded
the Louvre this week, the Tate next, then fly blue sky St Tropez south together
pastures new for the same old, same old crew of immaculate misfits

On a foul day in yesteryear an also-ran dauber from afar arrived in
dream’s city, stoking angers own fire in his belly and blacklist preferences
he favoured the edge of a rusty saw to the gleaming knife blade
a rouge stained glass of ‘morning after’ flat fizz to sparkling fresh spring water
toasted tobacco from east of Constantinople over fresh air, red lit alleyways
over harvest moon, open sewer street life above tree lined boulevards
and a given, namely ‘fifty grand’ Ernie over a ‘theory of soul’ Aristotle

In his cups, through the fog of indifference bleary eyes mark
a night shift tomboy waitress, her mob of scar blemishes of a life lived
the marked down bracelets, hair in a tangle, sweat pearls upon her brow
an offbeat propensity to be looked into rather than looked at
she a corporeal phenomenon rarity far outshining the completeness
of perceived superiority of trophy muses everywhere, conspicuous her
perfection of presence over his poverty of being, tantalising her magical flaws
her frowned upon non-conformity, her palpable fervent noncompliance

Moreover, the imperfect perfect creature dug him out, saved him from
his guaranteed collapse, his otherwise kiss goodbye sullied liver ruination



  1. The artists of The Emperors New School of This and That and Whatever. What a great thought.

    I read this thrice and three quarters in segmented ordered chaos. Kind of like a mandarin. It was wonderful. Is there a story behind the image?

    1. Yes there is a story to this one albeit a tad intangible. The imperfect perfect creature is my wife by any other name, the rest is semi autobiographical…put it this way, I would have all those years back drunk myself to death were it not for her own brand of lunacy.

  2. It’s amazing how you describe two different worlds in just a few paragraphs.
    Brilliant, absolutely brilliant.
    Them in their perfect world of so and so …
    He and his lady friend living perfectly in an imperfect really life world.

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