I wrote this for a blog for a fashion start-up that – er – didn’t, after visiting the Nick Waplington photographic exhibition at Tate Britain earlier this year. Waplington’s exhibition juxtaposed images of landfills and rubbish heaps with backstage shots from Alexander McQueen’s ‘Horn of Plenty’ Collection – see above, who wouldn’t pray to the goddess in that dress? As the poem is not going to go where it was supposed to now, I’ll recycle it here.
Swan, who’s a bunch of milk roses; Swan
with poppies in your beak, whose feet are lilies
picked to be dyed black – my prayer is more.
More of the cut minerals and dressed pelts
monogrammed with air-miles, worn once
and then thrown; more hot technology,
more haute horologie – still watertight,
fathoms down. Max me out, pile my plate,
let whatever has been mined be burned.
Grant me further, faster, newer, rarer
or if I can’t have this then give me less.
Please. Release us from the weight of what
we own. Strip the dressers and the vaults
one by one, rip the image down,
make all the things that we assert
be subject to the sweet dissolve and rot. Flick
the switch on our light, take the heat from our thought:
Swan – I’ll make my mind a bowl and scrape it clean
for you to fill with more of nothing than anyone.
Oil black, rust red, bone white Swan.
Watch The Horn of Plenty! show
Interview with Nick Waplington