The glitterati and the shitterati

Man’s inhumanity to man

Framed in the gallery

Slammed in the back.
The inhumanity of wealth

The inhumanity of hunger

Staring at each other across a marble floor of indifference, where

For now, we walk in awe.  


skipping and scanning
the hydrographics
scroll the sky
a watery text
curses the familiar outlines
of Van Gogh, Turner, or Monet

Chinese whispers and inklings
vast waterlilies
jet stream like fountain pen
notes and quotes scrawl the pond
righting wrongs, scoring through
the luggage, the passports, the money

still scanning
electromagnetic semantics
overwriting vast fields of blue
correcting grammar
punctuating earth with shade and hue

Man lying on a wall

Man Lying on a Wall (1957) by LS Lowry

A moment of joy lifts him
from pavement onto factory wall
from straight to horizontal he paints
a line into his fag and he and
the chimneys smoke and
the clock tower strikes

and the bus pulls up
and we all journey home
through soot and chill, but he’s
not going anywhere soon. A man,
lying in state balancing his hat
like a crown on his belly

for all the world and his dog
to see. The steady fall and rise
of middle-age. Brolly and briefcase
stand to attention,
ready for battle

against the hazy smog, the stretcher bond
of bricks and mortar. A sense,
then, of contemplation
only wants an artist
by chance on the top deck
of a bus passing and then this painting

for us to remember him by.

I wrote this parody of the poem ‘Man Walking’ by Owen Lowry in October 2013.