Nothing is unbeautiful to artists:
You taught me that with the rigor mortis
of your work.
It is the truth of now, you say
and I collect for you, on the beach,
the artefacts of man and nature,
dreaming of that little boat we used to sail, just us,
shattered now and sunk, the bleached drifted wood,
as you delight in, smooth and wormy.
And I gather for you the endless detritus of sea,
the unpitied carbonate residue of life.
It is all scoured bone, vacant skulls and shells to you,
focused and hunched over lacquered arrangements.
Our love is beginning to stink.
The agates and carnelians I offer turn to matte.
Where is the sparkle?
And the sad sharp glitter of my amber eyes,
how do I harvest that — would you even notice?
And yet, like a fetch-dog, I continue to serve you
— the shark egg cases, sponges, the razor clams.
I am tied to you, I retrieve lobster pot traps,
fluffed-up orange/blue rope—and bottles, semi-crushed.
You sip rum, cheroot-stained teeth in a grin as I supply
bucket-loads of toothbrushes and lighters.
Do you remember at school the dried starfish and pasta?
That was the start of your singular obsession.
I gave you a ring and you embedded it in resin
with a twist of tagliatelle — and a crab.
You are acclaimed for your installations.
Those exhibitions win you adulation and respect
and I am left behind half-submerged
like a chunk of eroded glass.
What remains for your ironic eye?
A cast off fishing line, roughly cut,
a plastic glove for you to mock,
a washed-up love-doll, polluted sand
— miles and miles of it.
If you have any thoughts about this poem, Clive Donovan would be
pleased to hear them