Michael Brown – 200 Buttons

Michael Brown by Thom Atkinson

Coming up this week Michael Brown talks about ekphrastic poetry and reads from his upcoming collection Meet Me at the Harbour.

Here is a poem inspired by an exhibit in the Queer British Art at Tate Britain exhibition.

200 buttons
for Richard Chopping and Denis Worth Miller
Queer British Art at Tate Britain

Local legend has it
that every time a soldier pays a ‘visit’
they collect from him a button
stored in an old Christmas biscuit tin.

Bohemia round here is like
a fat man with eyebrows like furry caterpillars and an oily voice
so Richard said on the phone to Francis Bacon.

Denis was a cute little button
he’d spend his days painting boys down at the cruising ground.

They invited me to their house in Cornwall
and I spent summer writing poems in the harbour
and undoing many buttons.

Michael Brown

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