Tube as Boudoir

by Aidan Andrew Dun

Scribbled in a notebook the other morning barely out of bed flying down the Northern Line to Camden to get to Maximus; the subject was hard at work as I wrote. When I looked up from the just-finished portrait the unconscious sitter had so totally changed appearance I was reassured I’d got her down to a ‘t’, captured in about five minutes (plus a few odd seconds) too-early-in-the-mornin’ rollin’ into town…


Consider tube as boudoir,
railwaycar as mobile powder-room,
subterranean beauty-parlour,
proof, if needed, lipstick, perfume,
mascara, paint, eyeliner, blusher
don’t require anything plusher,
more aesthetic or romantic
than rush-hour’s overfrantic
evil-smelling cattle-truck
to work the witchcraft: old magic.
Woman might seem haemorrhagic,
bloodless; smack on some cosmetic muck!
And beauty lives again, from the dead
stands up, lips coloured hellbent-red.