His portrait blooms
a double murder

graphite lines
bleeding into heavy paint

He looks like knives:
his Elvis shirt
his checkered blazer

He’s fleur-de-lis,
pink chain
across his dark neck

And he looks like shadows
strolling into walk-ways

He looks like thoughts
realisations coalesced

He’s playing pool
and drinking lager

He’s dating girls
and eating chips,

He looks like knives:
his Elvis shirt
his checkered blazer

It’s the 60’s or the 70’s.
He’s looking at you.
Things are going to change.

Work in progress by Scott Bridgwood, on original portrait, by Frank W Johnson.

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Letter to a Bike Thief

January 31, 2010

Dear Bike Thief

Thankyou for visiting the other day. Because I hadn’t seen you for a while, I’d started to worry you might have finished your bike, or even worse, got tied up with some annoying community service order. I now see, I needn’t have been concerned.

I hope you’re happy with the wheels, the fork, the handlebars and the small bell with the red heart. All of them were new from after the last time you came, so should be in pretty good working order.

The new bike should be refitted in about a fortnight. I’ll leave it outside in the same place – in the bike shed, next to the Neighbourhood Watch sign. As usual, don’t worry about the security guard (he never comes around) or the camera’s (they don’t really work) – or the Neighbourhood Watch scheme – it’s really just the old woman with the cat, at number 12. You seem to have got the hang of the new bike chain, so no problem there.

Hope you had a good Christmas and are enjoying the new year. Take care of yourself. Don’t get run over by a bus or anything and end up in casualty or in hell burning for eternity. In a cycle hat. That would be awful. Really, really awful. Really.

Portrait of a Portrait

January 27, 2010

You can’t make mistakes
on *Coteman:
lines shine
like punched jaws
teeth hold lead
like dogs hold bones.

His portrait bloomed
a double murder.
Collars flattened.
Something sung.

Things he knows:

it won’t work
around the edges

the centre will not hold

borders are undone.

He looks like knives:
his Elvis shirt
his checkered blazer

Its the 60’s or the 70’s
something
is just about to happen.


*Coteman Watercolour Paper

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January 24, 2010

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