Peter Clarke (1926 - ) Comrade Lenin

mixed media
50 x 35cm

Sometimes, irreverently, I can't help thinking of an immobilised,
gold fish. In fact, I wonder, quite frankly, if in time this will
not be considered an exercise in foolishness. With changing political
circumstances its just a matter of time, I suppose - I am
convinced - that there are those who discuss what they should
do - ought to do - or must do with his embalmed corpse. Will
they bury him, burn him or, even worse, grind him up for fertilizer
for a pot plant or turn him into pet's food pellets for some pampered
At first I thought this such a brilliant idea. Lying in state
is the ultimate, the superb way of getting attention. One becomes,
truly, the great attraction. He draws crowds. They arrive
curious from all the far flung reaches of the world &
possessed by all their national characteristics & differences
form long orderly queues that file silently & reverently past
him the whole day, sun, rain, snow. Only Siberian type blizzards
keep some of them away, though never, of course, the
fanatics. They file past in dead silence supposedly paying
their respects but in actual fact gawking at him while
his remains, lie there on Red Square trapped by time & stillness.
I can't help it but wish that just once he could sit
up, yawn, then grin devilishly at everyone of them just
to see what will happen.

2005 Michael Stevenson. All rights reserved.