Jerry Hall’s drawl tells you what you should think;
lets you know that he did her portrait too.
For twenty years he consumed the same soup –
Campbell’s – over thirty varieties.
Think what he could have done with Heinz Baked Beans.
But what did he love more than anything?
Money. His friend charged him for that response.
He treated nothing like it was something:
creation ex nihilo. Quite divine.
He took the piss out of Jackson Pollock. (Literally).
He shared bullets with Martin Luther King,
yet had no point of view. Presentation
was all. He left his camera running.
Its film ran out before he was ready,
but the party reviews were terrific.
From his silver-foil shimmered studio,
he said, “I’ll be your mirror” and balloons
and shadows became Rohrschachs of the self.
Chief dog of the hungry bitchpack, his wigs
out-peroxided Marilyn Monroe.
His intimacy on the telephone
was like those who freefell on the eleventh
from the Twin Towers, but who called home first.
Though voices were brief and bright as flashbulbs,
their stark images were stamped on our screens.
The body hanging from the ambulance
and the tuna-poisoned smiling victims
did not surprise him. Even the sneaker
beneath the tyre had to be repeated.
Orange car crashes fourteen times over.
A Chelsea newsagent’s grim headline runs:
Crocodile Girl: Family’s Grief. Just once.
In her Gap Year she’s found publicity –
fifteen minutes of fame in the world’s lens.
He could have painted her a thousand times.