Paul StJohn Mackintosh

Writing * Poetry * Dark Fiction * Weird * Fantastic * Horror * Fantasy * Science Fiction * Literature

New poem

And here’s the poem inspired by that picture – actually, the painting was in restauro, exactly as described:

Brera Pieta

Bellini’s Pieta behind sheet glass,
clamped to the gantry girders’ clean brushed steel
under white tube lights’ chill denatured glare,
suspended in a straddle carrier
and surrounded by all the instruments
of restoration, ladders, tongs and sponge.
Two huge fluorescent green extractor ducts –
articulated Ernst elephant trunks –
on either side, with goggling loups on stalks:
the hideous apparatus of remorse
striking cold attitudes in grim dumb show
of the lamenters’ outflung members, flanks
the limp form on the canvas stretcher frame
supported by a mother’s tenderness,
soft velvety reds and blues, ivory skin
so delicately rendered, collar bones
of a dead god upheld in the slack flesh
across the central axis that aligns
the nail holes that heal and make us whole.