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Daniel I Russell - Writer of Horror Fiction


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Thursday, February 25, 2010

At the End, Art


As my dad would say, at the moment I barely have time to wipe my arse (good old dad) so there will be no full-on blog this week.

Instead, and with Stitches due to appear in Fear and Trembling in a few weeks, I decided to share this poem with you that no one wants. It's too long!

Size, apparently, matters...with poems.

I have a few more smaller pieces out there and also some appearing in Bandersnatch publications (such as Ezra Pound. Cover on the right there) but I still don't see myself as a poet. Still more Sherie's forte than mine. Anyhoo, here it is. I hope you enjoy it. It's free. Quit bitchin'.

At the End, Art

Glass doors wide to swallow thee

to a house of pain and surgery.

Of faces carved of stress and worry

with teary eyes and noses runny.

Through the masses, approach the keeper,

take the elevator and go down deeper,

within the bowels of this medical devil,

head for the show on the basement level.


At door B12 your footstep fades.

He studies you through Rayban shades.

Flash the ticket, the mountain smiles

showing you through in brutish style

into a room wide and filled with glamour,

the stench of money, fall of the hammer.


“Sold!” a man cries to the gathered art fans

of financial kings with orange tans,

filthy popstars, corrupted law.

“Next lot is number 104.”

All eyes turn to yonder door

at the sound of wheels across tiled floor.

Women garbed in rubber shoes

white outfits and tabards blue,

push a frame next to the stand.

The opening bid is at five grand.


Lot 104? You consult the guide.

A highway smash by a Spencer Hyde.

Last October, he didn’t think,

took the car after too much drink

and lost control, a leg, an arm

and several quarts near Hanlon’s farm.


To the hospital, Hyde was rushed

on a gurney, the doors were pushed

open into the emergency room

and as the clock hit noon he met his doom.

On the bed sheet, his life’s blood poured,

and after framing, Lot 104.


A crimson stain on stark, white linen,

brought inside by laundry women.

On this sheet is where he died,

the stain what’s left of Spencer Hyde.


An Irish singer, money to burn,

raises his paddle and takes his turn.

“Going once, twice, sold!” cries the auctioneer,

Lot 104 to the winning bidder,

who grins contently, displaying his passion

to hang in secret in his Dublin mansion.


Lot 312 is wheeled out next,

to excited whispers and craning necks.

Suspended and taut, this colourful canvas

tells the story of pain and madness.


Drugs ran the life of Jo McBride,

that was until her suicide.

Bugs on walls. Bugs on skin.

To deal with her invasion within:

an extra hit to send away,

and if that failed, she’d make them pay

using a knife snatched from her kitchen,

she’d carve them from her porcelain skin.


On her canvas, her last outline

of blood and vomit and lime urine.

Her death so painful, long and slow,

a perfect prize for this here show,

and soon it’s sold and whisked away,

another few grand for the doctors’ pay.


A waiter circles serving wine.

You take a glass to pass the time

and wet your throat. The time is near,

glance at the guide and wipe a tear.

This sheet is blank, Lot 401,

of Cancer victim Lou Leyton.


You know the story, through and through,

of the award winning actress Lou.

A shining star of stage and screen,

made her fortune in her teens

till tumour stole her later years.

The doctor confirmed her greatest fears

that she would no longer play a part

but at her passing, she left her art

onto the sheet. It looks so plain,

no pattern, nor mark, mere ghost of pain.


The bidding starts, you bide your time.

The cost hits seven, then eight, at nine

raise your hand, enter the fray,

throw in your hat, agree to play.

A fat man winks, the price goes higher.

You grit your teeth at the potential buyer.

Hand up once more, you stake your claim,

yet fat man follows and does the same.

The war plays out, pendulum swinging,

and at fifty grand, your heart starts singing.

Your enemy’s out, he knows he’s done.

You’re the proud owner of Lot 401.


At 1am, you step outside.

The contract’s done, the cheque’s been signed.

Breathing easy, first time in weeks,

since the orderly’s words had leaked

and told you of the special show,

whom to see and where to go.

Your darling Lou, your loving wife.

You had her love, you’d shared her life

and in your hands her missing part,

her last moment, her final art.



Posted by Daniel I. Russell :: 6:47 am :: 0 comments

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