Sculpture on the Beeld boulevard, Scheveningen, the Netherlands

Igor Mitoraj


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You think the multi-coloured man is true,
the Harlequin who morphs to fer-de-lance;
those in his entourage know nothing of the dance,
yet are misguided by him, as are you.

More than mechanicals, but less than men,
their perfect mouths are mouthing, come to us,
through Mona Lisa smiles. Their eyes are vacuous,
unwavering, and seeking you again.

Transfixed, you shudder as they multiply.

They’re closing in on you, the claustrophobe,
each one a perfect, plastic clone
whose movements, though inelegantly, ape your own.
Here comes the seizure as the streetlights strobe;

a choreography of menaces begins,
danced to a too-slow clockwork tune.
The multi-coloured man stands smoothly up to croon,
rotates his head one time, then winks at you and grins—

shrinks back to viper, spits the poison in your eye.