THE LEOPARD OF THE MALL (poem)

Staring out from a five
dollar picture frame
hung crookedly
on a display board
in the thoroughfare
of the shopping mall,
and robbed of all
but its whiskers and spots,
is a face which
speaks only of bemused indifference;
a once fierce growl
reduced to the occasional
“Meh…”.

Overlooked by passers-by,
and caged within a tame void
of acrylic abstraction,
its Will To Power
seems to have devolved
into a typical Kiwi-esque
chip on the shoulder.

“Why did I get the retired hobby artist?”
the leopard moans to itself.
“Why couldn’t I have been up
there with Bill Hammond’s
bird people
in a respectable gallery?”

Mediocrity is indeed
a sixty five dollar price tag
dangling from the bottom corner
of a substandard painting,
begging for someone,
anyone,
to make a little space for it
in some neglected corner
of their potpourri scented
house-shaped coffin.

 

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