A cartoon in an ageless sense
of leering men, transition dance,
the steer, askance, directed peer,
to look, perchance as being watched -
beware the looker in advance,
allowing space to watch oneself.
All focal points, pretence as art,
pericopae, the scenic stance,
diverse set details gathered in,
survey by eyes, for wandering,
without bright eyed-wide wonderment,
except those opportunities displayed.
Green bending youth, tails lifted up,
without dared backward glance bestowed,
too near behind, legs crowding man,
by name George Legge, as if a joke,
while brush strokes point, sardonic smiles,
imagination, yours, run wild.
Hand-held, the Venus d’Urbino -
with finger-pointing scowl at male,
group closeted, portrayed, betrayed.
Who has the last laugh in that frame -
the canvas best when questions posed,
a hand, stir stare, too prominent?
The writing clearly on the wall,
but nearer figures closely scanned,
crude company, aristocrats,
a cluster clique identikit,
all connoisseurs and diplomats,
those boys dismissed as travelled class.
By rippled muscles, wrestled thoughts,
Uffizi in fictitious form,
Etruscan fables, sable spread,
chimera bronze, mane tale for weave,
painstaking plot, this casting couch
where all on stage seen everyman.
What is it eyeglass magnifies,
but is it I in spotlight here,
a complement, to be installed?
For what is the curator’s rôle -
who is it - is it me in deed -
if eye offends, then cast it out?
When is the nude rude, if at all,
dressed down men undressed, put to scorn,
both risqué and suggestive taunts,
double entendres, our account,
without red shift, another’s blame,
to blush when honesty portrayed?
Stephen Kingsnorth (Cambridge M.A., English & Religious Studies), retired to Wales from ministry in the Methodist Church, has had over 200 pieces published by on-line poetry sites, including The Ekphrastic Review, printed journals and anthologies. https://poetrykingsnorth.wordpress.com/
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