caravaggio by Paul Harrison

like some football hoolie
was a right fucking cunt
ran with the roman firm
in the early sixteen hundreds
reclaimed the human form
from a mincing
mannered seicento style
painted all those bible scenes
of martyrdom
hunger and sacrifice
caravaggio had a pair
and liked his trade rough
was dark, vernacular, queer
the critics said he was an evil cunt
though the collectors and patrons
had other ideas
darkness and light
light and shade
the last four years
of his thirty nine
were spent on the run
from assassins and cops
in 1606 he killed a man
with a single thrust to the groin
wounded a few including a screw
and a waiter who served him
bruised artichokes
even got himself
all fucked up
in a naples bar-room brawl
home and away
light and shade
come on cunts
at last
increasingly possessed
by death
and the radical real
he died in a pestilent, spanish shit hole
north of rome
and nothing
would ever be the same again
darkness and light, light and shade
they dont make artists
like that anymore
and it’s probably just as well

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