As the aesthetics of limbo
polarise the division
between hardliners and fuzzies,

gangs of louche impressionists
spill from café to café,
bullying the bespectacled

to see myopically bare
the play of light on water,
to map movement in air,

moments of transformation;
while underground hardliners,
defiantly horn-rimmed,

cluster in stone cellars
(always with one ear cocked for
the arrival of the fuzz)

to study the banned works
of Brueghel, Blake, Dürer.
Their preferred art is sculpture.

What turns them on is
the uncompromising clarity
of lines, definitions, boundaries,

things becoming themselves
(each with its weight and outline)
by excluding other things;

seeing how in the heavens
where all forms are allowed,
one cloud resembles nothing
so much as another cloud.


© Brian Fewster,
Published in English in Education 29/1, Spring 1995

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