‘Painting the fall’

His canvases sagged with decay,

.

each a small shrine to imperfection, dereliction

infecting its seams and squares, left brittle

.

and opens, oils a fecund messenger.

a chorus if sores in line. It had to fester, like

.

damaged flesh, and drink from this corrupt well.

All the world was simply vaudeville.

*

His bankruptcy was inevitable.

What market is there for such things?

Ruin is not a commodity so much

.

as a global condition. Unnecessary

to be so reminded, ruin arriving for each of us.

Set aside for sufficient time.

*

There is a poetry of despair, a paean

to blotched faces and rotten meat.

.

That was not his style.

He sought the itch of existence, the very point

.

where life went off, irretrievably,

and lost its balance.

.

What he thought of as the honesty of disintegration.

.

– Tom Weston, ‘Painting the fall’, in Small Humours of Daylight (Wellington: Steele Roberts & Associates, 2008).

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