Vilhelm Hammershøi, Interior - Strandgade 30

Covered in filth, a disastrous clumsy brain excavates deep to identify causality.

Distrusting and perilous,

Broken mirror images

echo an unsung nursery rhyme

in an incomprehensible language.

For unclean, as impure, as spoilt,

This one is a crummy little one.

She has not made any effort whatsoever, and now has the nerve to demand feedback.

How can you be of either character, when you are so passively absent?

In terms of clean and pure, I’ll take the clean,

I’ll aim for pure.

I’ll wash one hand with the other.

I’ll promise to sit up straight,


Thank you,

Kiss a hand that feeds,

Any hand that feeds,

All hands around me, I’ll kiss

And please.

Or pleasure – was it pleasure?

A case closed,

Lost cause,

Entry denied.

I got confused

by all the sleeping,

And forgot to claim my innocence.

My dirt.

My cleanliness. My loss.


Part of The Learned Pig’s Clean Unclean editorial season, March-May 2015.

Image credit: Vilhelm Hammershøi, Interior from the Home of the Artist (detail), oil on canvas, 1900. Photographer: Finnish National Gallery / Hannu Aaltonen


The Learned Pig

Despina Koniordou

Despina, a dedicated descriptor and accidental free-writer, likes to think about details and closely examine all possibilities for everything at all times. Her successes include recording a radio show (age 6), baking a quince jelly lattice tart from scratch (age 9), and writing a 7-page long poem about ‘Love’ in class in an hour (age 10). Since then, she’s mostly passing as a free-spirit and mental health advocate, occasional science disseminator and communicator, conceptual artist suggestor, and experimental lost-item finder. (She also blogs sometimes at