Self Portrait

I am Christopher Twigg, the ape, the sycophant,
the hypochondriac,
the recycler of bottles and stern self critic,
the lover and hater of poetry,
the closet atheist, the believer in countless world religions,
the Bombay charlatan with ominous vials of red liquid.

I am Christopher Twigg, the thief,
the supporter of charities;
the wader of turquoise oceans,
and fashionable shopper at Safeways.
(My basket is loaded with razor shells and tinned asparagus.)

I am Christopher Twigg, the generous host of parties,
the provoker of orgies,
the genteel Bed and Breakfast landlady,
the Parisian taxi driver,
the scribbling drunk - it was me you saw
in the station bar at Ostend -
the patient waiter for my own soul to catch up with me

I am Christopher Twigg, the painter of twee landscapes and
sentimental nudes,
the artist whose work is easy
and impossible to understand,
the poet in three languages,
the inexperienced lecturer, the unfulfilled academic and pedant:
that converted barn of a man.

I am Christopher Twigg, the imperialist,
the starter of wars and vertical invader of other planets,
the anonymous, abusive telephone caller,
a friend to the blind and the elderly,
compassionate before real life and the television.