‘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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