Lindsay Kemp 1973
White face, baggy white clothes, white gloves, a ruff.
We’re not his audience. Some sort of fop.
Some lordling, yells for every single drop
of blood and talent. Never quite enough
For his harsh masters. To a minuet
meticulous he takes care not to soil
white gloves – he pulls his guts out, coil by coil,
then with a slightly staggering pirouette,
tears out the last few inches. Wraps guts round
his neck like garlands. Bows, waits for applause
grins anxiously. Pain sweat drips from his pores.
Mouth rictus-wide, a scream without a sound.
He fears his lord will ask for something more.
Has no guts left to spare for an encore.