New York City, 1978 © Alex Razbash

Ruby Brunton

Poetry For Keith Haring

We asked fellow New Yorker Chris Kraus (Love Dick) to commission original pieces by 5 poets in response to the artist Keith Haring and his iconic work. You can read all 5 poems in the free visitor guide which you can pick up at our Keith Haring exhibition. Or read them right here...

Ruby Brunton
How Slow the Water Shifts and Turns


The New York subway     A blank tarp

     Waiting      Every wall calls for disrupting

   Softly      Precisely       Making marks

         Rounded eyes of glitter      Fluffed peak


Open mouth flanked by swine      Cheek of cherub

    Whole world gagging over such        Explosions

Of joy       Simple set of lines become signature

    Man communes with earth   

           Man communes with beast


Blank spaces fill with chalk squeaks     Ownership

   Not sought       Never needed

          Explanations for all to make        A child

A baby       A DJing dog        Milk teeth flashing


Sweat drips down concave chest      Short shorts with

  worn down seat        Ask not for meaning  

Watching is pleasure     Process is pleasure   We are all

   Riding this train together       No one there to buff


The lady Grace’s body covered

                The Madonna’s body covered

     Buildings covered     School books covered

Every open space             An invitation


Isthmus between street and tower       A pop to power

  Flames drew in           Moth wings spread over mouth        

               A light out before dark


Somewhere, trains still whizz past

      A flying cock        A baby halo               

 Extraordinary schema      


Ask not for favors     Eye of beholder

   All is in plain sight       




Ruby Brunton © Anastasia Blades
Ruby Brunton © Anastasia Blades


See also