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Paul Stubbs, from The Icon Maker

Crucifixion (triptych, 1965)

after Francis Bacon


A woman, unscripted, she bends into her
flesh; fidgeting, squirming, contorted:

As if the molten-metal from the mould
of the swastika

it was being intravenously fed into her

While Satan, upon his sunbed, grins.


Arms pinioned, the epoch is suspended.

From the ripped-open gut spills the
detritus of the century:

fragments of a failed despot's
speech, a bishop's vertebra,
bomb-shells etc

- A crucifixion also begins to stop.


Two journalists, at lectern, in court:

idly discuss the cricket game or the

"I am moving" cries the Nazi behind them,
"back through the death-throes of my sins!"

- God, out of frame, indifferent:
- force-feeding him the ashes
- of the survivors of Auschwitz.