My poem “Rip Torn” Nominated for 2012 The Walrus Poetry Prize

Walrus peoetry prize copy

 Rip Torn

Almosted into marble by the Medusa-eyed hoi polloi,
The Queen’s stone jowls, éraillure of crow’s feet,
are freshly quarried—fifty years late,
her face is lithic-flaked into a new lustrous, toothy smile,

as electricity excites mercury vapour, she is light-boxed,
backlit, mounted, thrust every few paces in the chambers
of the London tube. Her
cumulonimbus-hued bust, the size of Easter Island moai,

is shit-grinning over diamonds, on exhibit for the great
unwashed to grub up drool over. Jewels encased in
UV-proof acrylic vitrines, whettingly
argon-sandwiched, cannot be made stonier by our

brutish, countryside-bred, dazed unblink. We share
our sheep’s hypoxic shrug at the Lorenz curve of the earth,
we leap magpie flat-footed, shriek obsidian
disbelief tidings, genetic-fervent for useless, shiny things.

The Janus of the Jubilee and Olympics has the Queen
loitering in tunnels, her visage pinned to brick; a tattered
flag to the proclaimed, uncharted
country of herself billows above the footbridge—

the gammon display reminiscent of Styrofoam castles,
glue and sand. Mickey Mouse and the Magic Kingdom, Iraq
under Saddam. But my companion says no,
she looks like an albino Grinch. She looks like Rip Torn

in a Swarovski choker and cotton candy wig.