THESE BODIES LACKING PARTS
R. A. Villanueva
With raw sienna crushed by fist
mid-thrash, to the plaster,
with cochineal red. In this Sistine
as if unable to bear fully the weight
to the Last Judgment, hangs his face
towards the clamor of heaven, plead
These are the men Vesalius halves
the heads of petty thieves, he laces
a new man from their bared
apprentices to draw him directly
Juxtapose Michelangelo Buonarroti’s The Last Judgment—finished in 1541—with the frontispiece of Andreas Vesalius’ De Humani Corporis Fabrica, published in 1543. Arrange the images so that the self-portrait of Michelangelo as flayed skin in the grip of St. Bartholomew is horizontally aligned with Jan Van Calcar’s depiction of Vesalius in the midst of revealing the viscera.
See crosses and how bodies clot. See Christ in the skeleton’s upraised arm. Think transfiguration, divination.