Gas-Station Sushi at the Gates of Hell

By Kenneth Francis (May 2018)

Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion, Francis Bacon, 1944

o more prog poop to deal with
Pills from poppy sap melt my mind
My eyelids feel like lead; worse still,
At bedtime my restless legs become entwined

Eventually drifting off with glacial slowness
I float through the sewer of Francis Bacon’s brain:
Confronted by the triptych Base of a Crucifixion;
Like a lost weekend chilling on cheap champagne

It’s then, I suffer another Stations of the Cross
Met with other fools on a hill called Gagademia
And every night, I spot misery in a frosted glass:
A spineless, ageing hippy, fearing dementia

Trying desperately hard to look hip again;
An embarrassment with zero humility
Lying about beautiful soup cans and Andy Warhol
Mendacity is the key to my personal tranquillity

Logos never made a sane person happy
Or secured tenure in a sea of lies
Where all the pony-tailed pied-pipers swim
While pious pilgrims pray to the sky

But not for long; hope I don’t have to hang for long
When I carry out the deed
I pray the rope’s strong
It’s got to hold the weight of a degenerate
And God forbid I get aroused and soil my Fundoshi thong

I’d hate to be found that way; dangling like a jerk
Behind a group selfie portrait while lacking riposte
Capturing the last syllable of recorded time
But why does it matter if I’m nothing but toast?
Why delay the process? And what if Hell exists?
I could end up damned forever in the abyss
An eternity sitting naked on the devil’s lap?
Surely this place is the stuff of myths?

But if it exists, there would be no exit, no going back
Forever at the gates of Hell, eating gas-station Sushi
With ice-cold coffee; or forever singing Louie Louie
With long-dead frat boys and John Belushi


Kenneth Francis is a Contributing Editor at New English Review. For the past 20 years, he has worked as an editor in various publications, as well as a university lecturer in journalism. He also holds an MA in Theology and is the author of The Little Book of God, Mind, Cosmos and Truth (St Pauls Publishing).
More by Kenneth Francis here.
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