on a jacobean tomb


the tomb was meant to look like a bed / four posters either end and a pillow for his head / the courtier – (let’s call him that / I didn’t have time to read the plaque) / was lying on his side and not on his back / as you might have expected / from the way these things are usually erected / no – this one was on his side / propped on one arm, his eyes open wide / gazing out at us straight / like we disturbed him from his slumbers coming in late / and he’s just gonna stare at us / and glare at us / and wait / and wait / till finally we break / get the message and quit / and head for the exit / then he’ll frown / lie back down / rub his noble, stony cranium / and grab another half millennium

I don’t know – maybe the masons were making the case / the courtier was more than just doublets and lace / he wasn’t standoffish and dour / he was totally relaxed about wealth and power / easy in his position / looking on death as a tedious imposition / (but not so relaxed he’s carved in the nude / he needs you to know he’s a wealthy dude)

But honestly? / to me? / THAT does NOT look a comfortable lie-in / (even with my untrained, un-Jacobean eye in) / I mean – that ruff around his neck / would hurt like heck / his doublet looks like it was fitted with rivets / and his pantaloon’s as soft as a skirt made of skillets / so wide at the hip he’d be dislocated / every time he relocated

but then – that’s the trouble with meaningful poses / they never last as long as the sitter supposes / and what passes for status in 1604 / looks like a cosplayer resting on the floor / of the main hall at the MCM ExCeL / because his sandals hurt like hell / and he’s trying to muster the energy / to queue endlessly / just to get a signed photo / from fucking Lou Ferrigno

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