From Botallack Out
Where Hilton wakes restored
in the small acrylic fields of
fabulous women and dancing horses;
Celtic meadows, nocturnal and compact,
tip over the edge of the world
to raise a rampart of dreams
out into the Atlantic morning,
a white line under the door
he walks towards grinning.
For the pleasures of boats on the sea,
of returned desire, of animal breathing,
of abstract animate forms entangled
pouring through the windows,
jump up red dog, jump up:
what else have you got to do?
Your masterís scraps fly from the table,
run in the blood of the living,
splash over the loving face.
The tone too is arranged by plan,
plains and contours, the simple colours
of the peopleís of the sea singing,
who will not let me sleep
rocking the sea all night long;
they ooh and ahh my secret acrobatics
as I cartwheel on the canvas of despair;
at different depths the light changes
aqua, marine, ultra and the green gods.
Is the text of your painting perception itself, so that we see the work of the mind only in the act of painting?
I thought when I was dead
I would not have to explain anything;
green branches shoot from my wrists
instruments of truth or nothing.
Horses caper at my back,
the tide of neuritis rises at night
cold and black licking at the gate:
text? text of what? paint?
Is it the layer of living things, through which other people and things are first given to us?
Layer of living things, thatís good,
up to my elbows in that, paint,
bloody neck more like, Christ,
cat milk spilt bastard fridge broken.
My love the radioís on the blink,
will she ever tune to me again?
The signalís not clear, do nothing,
that record with Caruso singing.
Iím shipped up, skin flaking off
float me away in bloody bedroom,
the hidden life made apparent
free as painting the air blue, red,
vitamin B injections uesless
first person lost down the lane boy I.
Are you conscious of the body as the unperceived term in the centre towards which objects turn?
No getting away from it is there,
especially when it rots raw umber,
nor pens that donít work, empty bottles,
Ronseal awash in the whisky ditch at 3.30 a.m.
fucking objects bite back all the time,
garlic, spinach, blue lake acrylic.
I saw the ghost body under the boat
at one with the waves, the fatal current
all my life, that face emerging:
itís all my fault, I am a shit.
The medicineís a vicious circle,
I sailed around the cirkle islands
swapped pretty boy warbling
for Lord of All Things Moist,
ivy wrapped my every limb afloat.
I bear the young tree sprouting
in my craft or sullen barque,
good dog Spot
got through another night.
So, in the sense that all thought is thought about something . .?
Afterthought I am, I found something
to paint about
writing The Night Letters the
for enjoyment, only for
something to do between pictures,
my figures come breaking out
light will break for another
creation and haddock breakfast
from Botallack out, my figures
left on the table for your edification
We came in after a swim,
the rain didnít fall and the sky
rose again into depthless blue,
Taygetus refocused and the temperature
climbed the bronze terraces for summer.
Inside I set up my Hilton gallery,
ripped open an A4 cardboard envelope
stuck three colour printer copies on it
and propped it on the chair,
Oi Yoi Yoi, two boats in the harbour
A third, late gouache, half abstraction,
a brown eyed sun top left and
two blue figures dancing by the ochre band;
I think itís jungle music,
I think itís jig-a-jig time.
Sea-light across the square lifts
at the window, the heavy perfume
of white stephanotis butters the air;
each picture is a revelation
surrounded by torn cardboard.
What they say is unbearable,
beauty burning through our veins;
we wrapped it up for years,
the life that isnít life, a proxy framework,
full of holes and useless.
Look: rip open the envelope,
they spill out, splash and shout,
women and gods and boats
go charging around the house,
-Oi Yoi Yoi, thereís a fire.
It snakes under the skin,
sways Arcadia and lifts the tide,
sends birds with messages tree to tree
singing all the names of fire
from the back of Hiltonís cart.