soap: second rendering

My theory of beauty is that it
Shouldn’t be easy to look at.

If it was a smell, it would stink.
It would have the stench of birth
Or a rendering plant, which have

In fact, the same smell.
I suspect because both
Are fatty processes.

People have said
That the bodies are flayed

In my paintings.
I find this faintly ridiculous:

The paint is flayed,
nothing more.
(Of course, I use big brushes.)

(If anything at all,
My work results
From many happy accidents,

Accidents which are

Accidents which show
The wreckage intact.)

It shouldn’t be difficult
To look at beauty, either.
I always work from models.

When none is available to me,
I might work from myself,

In a mirror, or from a photo.
But not so as to bring something
From inside out:

I’m not interested in the
Inner beauty of a subject;

It would be foolish of me
Of all people to say that,
To give that insight credence.

If there’s any beauty to be found,
It will be in the suggestion
Of the paint. (Meat isn’t

Pretty. But a certain red
Is suggestive, isn’t it?)

If beauty were a tactile phenomenon,
It would be difficult to remove
From one’s hands.

You see,
I’m already presuming
One has touched it!