Magic hour lustre

of a place where the swans

swan royally pon the dykes

and the chlorophyllic flush

of unkempt desire

draws seed from the husk-cake

of bodies in the scrub.

 

The flesh and the frenzy

of this microscopic fray

tells of a cellular genealogy

not ours for the tracing,

as we pace the mise en cage

from the outside looking in,

like extras without a role.

 

Origins of a species

that stumbled into its own

in the slash and burn years

when humankind meant

neither genus nor compassion

and cinema something more

than colonials in the sun.

 

Our vicarious passing,

bed-bound and legless

(for symmetry is all),

this frame within a bedside frame

a reminder of our exile;

finial of an iron wrought fence

as exquisite as a corpse.

 

Dead dead dead

cried St. Derek of Dungeness

of a canvas drained of pigment

and hung like the death mask

of an artist-sphinx in Delft;

still lives rendered stiller

at twenty-four frames a second.

 

A death.

A photograph.

A zed en twee nullen.

A place of edenic returns:

one day I will journey to L'Escargot,

for there to observe my own decay.

 

 

 

May 2014

 

L'ESCARGOT

Les Roberts 2014 / Image BFI