Mistaken for art or rubbish

Mistaken for art or rubbish

My “art” is stacked against
Wrought-iron railings, painted black,
In front of the building
I’ve recently lived in,
Awaiting the bin men as
Bits of cardboard or hardboard,
Decorated in acrylic or collage
And as dusty as 2D objects can be:
Canvases neither canny nor uncanny.

They’ve followed me from flat to flat,
Even up and down a few hills,
Never having to excuse their presence;
They won’t pay their way by paying bills:
Their pleasance is a time that kills,
But they fit neatly behind furniture,
Between wardrobes and walls,
Even upon walls, until one of them falls,
Awakening me at three a.m.
With the sense of a forsaken friend,
Or the forgotten gist of a to-do list.

I’ve come to resent them.
As much as I once loved to present them
I hate now to behold them
Unfolding from every case-unpacking.
I’m lacking the longing I once had
To provoke such exclamations as
“I never knew you were artistic!”

“Look at me,” they seem to scream,
“I have so much to say!”
But that’s all they’ve ever said.

Good art should ask questions,
Because what are answers but
Questions when they’re dead?
And what is art but something you did
That nobody told you to do?
That you did just because?
That you did just for you,
And can’t possibly be or mean
Anything to anyone else?

I imagine art comes from the heart.
I don’t remember where they came from;
Only dates indicate their inception:
And only I can decide their fate,
So, better not never but late,

I imagine them looking down on me
From creatively named colour schemes
Watching over me in my new home,
A place I plan to be happy,
Frowning at my audacity
In pretending to be an adult.
They find the same faults with me
That I see in them,
I think.

This morning they watched me walking
To the bus stop
As far as perspective would allow.
Where are they now?
If the council will allow it
They are on their way to landfill:
Sentenced to a full stop.

For a decade I’ve produced one or two a year,
And they’ve amassed around me like a fear,
A sorry phobia of walking forwards,
Or a foreword that never
Gives way to a story.
No more.

I only hope they’ve been taken by someone,
Mistaken for art or rubbish,
By the time I return tonight
To unlock my front door.

Appears in:
Mistaken for art or rubbish [2013]


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