Extraordinarily evocative and moving sculptures by artist Kevin Francis Gray:
Irish sculptor Kevin Francis Gray works primarily with bronze and marble to create idealized figures draped with fabric in the style of Neoclassical or Baroque figurative sculptures. Though, unlike gods or royalty that one might expect to see rendered in such incredible detail, Gray instead creates anonymous depictions of regular individuals he encounters near his studio in London, often people struggling with addiction or other difficult, real-world issues.
I cannot sleep. The long, long
Night is full of bitterness.
I sit alone in my room,
Beside a smoky lamp.
I rub my heavy eyelids
And idly turn the pages
Of my book. Again and again
I trim my brush and stir the ink.
The hours go by. The moon comes
In the open window, pale
And bright like new money.
At last I fall asleep and
I dream of the days on the
River at Tsa-feng, and the
Friends of my youth in Yen Chao.
Young and happy we ran
Over the beautiful hills.
And now the years have gone by,
And I have never gone back.
"Night Thoughts" - Lu Yu, transl. by Kenneth Rexroth
Fate is a cruel
and proficient potter,
my friend. Forcibly
spinning the wheel
of anxiety, he lifts misfortune
like a cutting tool. Now
having kneaded my heart
like a lump of clay,
he lays it on his
wheel and gives a spin.
What he intends to produce
I cannot tell.
- Vidya, transl. by Andrew Schelling
The night reduced to a siren, a sigh:
Beautiful boy on the treadmill
Glimpsed sweating through sweating glass—
My new moon.
Sylvia’s moon: a smiling skull
Snagged in witchy branches; fossil
Brushed free of blackest earth.
My last moon: an orange ball at rest, for an instant,
On the grey lake.
Wish list: dining set and dresser,
Boombox, thin black tie, boy-
Friend à la Madonna’s “True Blue”
La la la la la la la
Your moon (tonight): a clouded X-ray.
I stand at a corner and stare up,
Both of us astonished
By its own secret light.
"To Arielle and the Moon" - David Trinidad
I work all day, and get half-drunk at night.
Waking at four to soundless dark, I stare.
In time the curtain-edges will grow light.
Till then I see what’s really always there:
Unresting death, a whole day nearer now,
Making all thought impossible but how
And where and when I shall myself die.
Arid interrogation: yet the dread
Of dying, and being dead,
Flashes afresh to hold and horrify.
The mind blanks at the glare. Not in remorse
—The good not done, the love not given, time
Torn off unused—nor wretchedly because
An only life can take so long to climb
Clear of its wrong beginnings, and may never;
But at the total emptiness for ever,
The sure extinction that we travel to
And shall be lost in always. Not to be here,
Not to be anywhere,
And soon; nothing more terrible, nothing more true.
This is a special way of being afraid
No trick dispels. Religion used to try,
That vast moth-eaten musical brocade
Created to pretend we never die,
And specious stuff that says No rational being
Can fear a thing it will not feel, not seeing
That this is what we fear—no sight, no sound,
No touch or taste or smell, nothing to think with,
Nothing to love or link with,
The anaesthetic from which none come round.
And so it stays just on the edge of vision,
A small unfocused blur, a standing chill
That slows each impulse down to indecision.
Most things may never happen: this one will,
And realisation of it rages out
In furnace-fear when we are caught without
People or drink. Courage is no good:
It means not scaring others. Being brave
Lets no one off the grave.
Death is no different whined at than withstood.
Slowly light strengthens, and the room takes shape.
It stands plain as a wardrobe, what we know,
Have always known, know that we can’t escape,
Yet can’t accept. One side will have to go.
Meanwhile telephones crouch, getting ready to ring
In locked-up offices, and all the uncaring
Intricate rented world begins to rouse.
The sky is white as clay, with no sun.
Work has to be done.
Postmen like doctors go from house to house.
"Aubade" - Philip Larken