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Wednesday, 7 March 2012

The elephant in the room

It's the elephant in the room, he'd said,

and so it has proved. The way clothes both define

and hide a form, there is this vague, suggestive,

fungus of a shape, an elephant you saw once in a cloud

and see now at the north end of The Green State Room.

A shroud, a billowing skin,

anchored in places, somehow tracing

the contours within -

as if the decorators are expected by and by.

The ghost of an elephant out on its haunts.


Unwinding the cover

to show off the skeletal sculpture beneath -

basalt, I'm thinking - life-sized

and studded with jewels. The Indian version displayed.


Then without more ado. To the tune of:

we never discuss this, of course...

the subject's taboo!

He's winding the shroud round and round,

like the covers had slipped for a moment, that's all

and now it is back in its cloud.


Two years and a fortune in jewels? I ask,

then hidden away in.... Exactly! he says

Irresistible subject, the talk of the town.

Outside of here, it's all go.


But the funding... I try a new tack. Working that trick...

He cuts in with that grin: seduction, he says.

Her ladyship courted and... well, not just the once.

She likes to be done on the bounce.

So she kept me in all my desires for two years

and provided the diamonds and pearls.


Is there nothing, I ask, you'll not do for art?

See here, he replies, it's art doing something for me.

What we have, she and I, is a mammoth to share -

my best installation to date. We are, you might say,

the elephant most in the room.

12 comments:

Trellissimo said...

That is SO clever - and a treat to read...

Manicddaily said...

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf gone to a decorating store! Very clever. K.

Ash said...

"See here, he replies, it's art doing something for me"

This is beyond perfect!

jane.healy said...

Trellissom says it all - very clever.

Brian Miller said...

ha, nice reference K...can def see it...we are the elephant most in the room indeed....

The Elephant's Child said...

Such a shame we cannot unveil the elephant. Though I suspect that the jewels would also conceal its nature.

Mama Zen said...

Amazingly clever piece!

Ygraine said...

Absolutely brilliant - and so amusing.
Do you think the elephant will ever be unveiled?

Windsmoke. said...

Very enjoyable especially "An elephant you saw once in a cloud" priceless :-).

Mary said...

Clever, clever, and fun to read!

Christine said...

Loved it; loved the acute observation that it reflects. As Trellissimo says, treat to read. Well done!

Dave King said...

Trellissimo
Thank you so much for saying.

Manicddaily
I'm still wondering... who is? Thanks.

Ash
And as a comment, so is this. Thanks so much.

Jane
Many thanks for leaving a comment. Much appreciated.

Brian
Absolutely! Good to have you saying so.

The Elephant's Child
The physical elephant and the jewels are the concept. Only the veils are for real.

Mama Zen
Thank you so much.

Ygraine
Nope. The elephant is nothing more than the armature supporting the veils. The elephant is in the mind, is the concept. The shrouds are what it's about.

Windsmoke
Thanks. Appreciate this.

Mary
Thanks. Good to hear that you enjoyed it.

Christine
Thank you very much. So good to get your views.