Perihelion: An Online Journal of Poetry and Mayhem
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Lucy Dougan

Tate Modern

Bourgeois’s Mammon
her spider mother
crouches diabolically over London
you can walk right in to the gallery
through the sinister entrance
of her legs
it’s that game all children play
making the miniature monstrous
inside you can line up
and buy handkerchiefs
bearing the legend
I’ve been to hell
and back
and I can tell you
it was wonderful

all that satin stitch
would be hard on a nose
with a cold I thought
and then of coffee long ago
with an arts bureaucrat
sod the exhibition
let’s cut to the merch

merch here, I discover,
is a kind of love talk
and I am requisitely seduced
by two pink magnets
art is a guarantee of sanity claims one,
the other commands be calm
then joke with the man in the line
behind me who wants to buy
be calm too
that we got spat out of the exhibition
at a video spool of the artist
dismantling her studio
in rock-god style
he holds the magnet up
to the glossy indifference
of the Thames
Like I need this
he laughs
Do you?