Tuesday, 29 June 2010

St. Sebastian

A poem inspired by the sculpture of St Sebastian by Claire Curneen (pictured right).

Transcending pain?
The hands open and stupid,
Small features are blankly insolent - mid-shrug.
Where there's no sense there's no feeling.

The martyr,
A thick white lump.
The extremities crystalized.
Hands and feet achieved some potential
He could act or run.

But the rest,
The calves, legs, torso and flabby waist with tiny genitalia
Are but cellulite on a baby.
He is a goat's-cheese of a man.

What would make such a man special?
And Sebastian needed to be important.
So important something greater than can be deceived (to paraphrase the ontological)
noticed him.
Saw his capacity for turning mulish self-aggrandisement into a virtue.
Something admired Sebastian's gullible faith without base.
His conviction.

And taking pity on him
Paradoxically, given his lack of existence,
With ineffable wisdom
He set Roman legions against him
And at the moment
The wounds poured forth,
Wouldn't it have been good
If he'd turned Sebastain's blood to gold?