I devour the raw human body.

I cradle its imperfections in my arms

With tender strength and heartache.

I make it art.

But humans hide

Beneath fashion and face-paint,

Exercise and scalpel doctors

Who cut their face and make it art

Of a consumable kind.

I get it.

I do it all the time.

I have learned it:

The commercialisation of my body,

Of my beauty.

I cut and prick and design

and say,

“Do you want me now?”

The hairy guy

Abandoned in prison,

Boarding school,

And puberty.

Puberty made me pretty.

I jumped onboard its train.

I meet the guy – like a forgotten friend –

On trains and flights

To another place, another time.

I hide

Under makeup

And flawless tops

And tight jeans

Even as they rip,

And the beautician rips out my hair

Like an alien disease.

I am the industry.

I make concessions;


I am taking the train back,

But platforms of pretty stop me

Every time.

It’s taking a while,

Taking too long.

Maybe I’ll stay

Till it’s too late,

Till it doesn’t matter,

Till I die,

Till you die

And no one sees me but I.

My eye in the mirror –

Like the eye of Sauron –

Burning, waiting,

Appreciating and guilting.

We’re all consumed as we consume.

I meet the guy in secret now.

He feels good,

Happy to be out.

He understands.

I understand.

Consumerism wins through insecurity.

When I cradle in my arms

An imperfect lover of mine,

A portrait of my admiration,

I believe they will cast the eye of Sauron on me –

Judging me by consumerism

While I judge them by art.

I expect to be judged by those

less consumable than me,

on the basis of edibility,

By pockmarks and pigment.

Here too dark.

There too hairy.

There too much fat.

Here much too small.

Like a tailor with a tape.

And when they don’t,

And when they see

what they craved to see,

I point them out,

My own shortcomings.

I jump to judge

Before I can be judged.

“I have no delusions.

Do not think I do not know

What you see.”

Like a meal less perfect than its picture.

And Dworkin laughs at me.

And Dworkin spits at me.

Only Whitman comes to rescue,

Whitman and Beyonce.

I tailor myself,

But the tape grows short;

Sometimes much too sexy,

Sometimes not enough.

Some are born desirable.

I had desirability thrust upon me.

And like a temporarily embarrassed millionaire,

I fled.

Some days this body of awesome

Is crucified by consumerist scalpels.

Some days this body of awesome dies

And rises after three days.

And then my seeker finally sits

For their first supper

Of flawless art. 


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