Sebastien Wen

Sebastien Wen


Sebastien Wen is a poet, playwright and musician. He’s in his last year of High School in Calgary, while on the side he conspires to blow your mind.

A Beautiful Portrait

I saw you. Great endless face
On the swings, thriving like flying was
And I stood there like I was watching
A beautiful portrait.

Only my eyes were there
When that woman
whipped out of her seat
Draped in a honking, drunken downtown beat
She cried defeat
Left you stranded there
Like there was nothing could be done
Like you weren't her son.

Pissed off, raggedy woman
In the traffic she was red
I could see her teeth between diamond lips, she
Screamed like a raven set on fire, she
Dug her salon-nails into her palms, she
Slammed the wheel of her Sedan, she
Pulled at her own hair and dumped
All her bi-polar baggage on a scared kid
In the backseat

Somewhere between 7/11's parking lot
And the highway fifty one,
Flattened between a taxicab and an old white Lincoln

She opened the front door
she got out of the car
high heels click click
her back away from you
she turns left. Behind a building.
There, on the road, she's left you.

I watched you on your knees
Praying to a psycho god
Like you hadn't sacrificed enough lambs for her
You used to lap up every word she'd say
Words like "I'm so sorry, baby"
"Never again, baby. I won't hurt you anymore."

I just stood there
Like I was watching
A beautiful portrait

I saw you quake and quiver
They could never do enough damage to quite kill you
You rolled with the punches by taking them head on
"I don't care. I'm not human.
Ghosts don't bleed!" you'd scream.
You were an immortal torture victim
but you'd whip your head around
when you heard feet on the stairs

and I just stood there
Like I was watching
A beautiful portrait

You've been thrown out
Laughed down
And beaten around
Every bush since Eden
And through a bone meal kraft dinner parade
Down in the dust of those empty tombs that littered your house
Real slow,
something dawned in you.

Behind your grease stained eyes
Your broken skin
Your rusty sighs
You didn't cry
You just shrugged.

Finally, mercy. It was true.
Finally the morphine flowed freely
From finger to finger
Through your crumpled body
You were silver, flowing mercury
You were the sound of a hollow coke bottle
Catching the breeze of the trees and
Singing it back to them.
You were the wild stag, shot dead
On the mountain, against the chill of a white rock

Pasted up against the piss yellow moonlight,
You were frozen.
You now mimicked reality so close to perfectly
but not quite right.
A long-gone water-colour
Of a time when everything was red roses,
Not white

You're still here. You're still here.
I can't lay flowers on your grave.

Through the fall
they nailed you to the wall
in a gallery, with the rest of the abused
all your faces, all the traces of your smiles
down ruby corridors they lie

and in this gallery,
now. I just stand here.
I am watching
a beautiful portrait

Birds © 2012 Calgary Spoken Word Society