Oi yoi yoi
to Roger Hilton about his painting in the Tate
The lady has no shame.
Wearing not a stitch
she is lolloping across
an abstract beach
toward a notional sea.
I like the whisker
of hair under her armpit.
It suggests that she’s not
one of those women who’s always
trying to get rid of their smell.
You were more interested
in her swinging baroque tits
and the space between her thighs
than the expression on her face.
That you’ve left blank.
But her mons venus
you’ve etched in black ink
with the exhuberance of a young lad
caught short on a bellyful of beer
scrawling on the wall in the Gents.
As a woman I ought to object.
but she looks happy enough.
And which of us doesn’t occasionally
want one of the Old Gods to come down
and chase us over the sands.
Vicki Feaver was born in Nottingham in 1943 and studied at Durham University and University College, London. Her collection of poems Close Relatives was published by Secker and Warburg in 1981: she is currently working on a second collection and a book about Stevie Smith. She earns a living as television subtitler for Oracle Teletext and as a visiting poetry teacher for schools in London and Kent. She has four children and lives in Brixton.