By LINDA BLACK.
Interior: Hotel Bar, The Connaught, London
(colour palette – invented)
. . . is open/ed, stretched, indeterminate – no bearings. Sink-hole, bore-hole, malefaction. Imbibe, insinuate. Empty, save for the barman – a figment, a fixture, polishing glasses – schooners, goblets, tumblers? I can’t quite see. Vague chairs (un)armed beckon back. On the right, two nailed heads. Opposite, a posthumous painting on a whimpering wall catches the stags’ dead eyes, glazed, fixated – mirrored echoes, antlers, glints of white / light. The advice is to delete the middle section, move the sides inward – such curtailment, such pinning down.
FLINT OR CLAY (Klimt or Klee). Bodmin Moor appeared literary. (‘Mary, Mary’) The span of the moon is but …. / ‘Minnaloushe creeps through the grass’/*
Resume your referencing. Block in alleys, align self to neighbour, hood-winking. Restore the natural identity. When the roof is raised, light refills the rafters.
Foreground, middle ground, background. Sail beyond the coastline one colour at a time. Mudstone, siltstone, shale. An undesirable brown. A clime, a climb. Meadows populated with tubes of paint. (I have missed the planting season – what should I do?)
Caterpillar Wood –pictoric, elemental. Pictorius, pingere. Landskip/e: a ‘petit genre’, a ‘common footman’ on lowly ground (flexible, with some tooth).
‘Lassie immediately deduces what’s happened, so Lin poisons Lassie. Lassie barely pulls through and pursues Lin to a climactic confrontation where, due to an off-screen accident with some liquid nitrogen, Lin’s gun jams.’ (Painted Hills)
Sky is almost always exuded.
* The Cat and the Moon (1919). WB Yeats
CONTRITION. DAMASK, PHOTOGRAVURE. Gothic vision – tower, mullioned windows, yew tree, copse, ball and chain. Roles to play. A backdrop of infinity – no border, nor godforsaken. I know you are there and I am glad.
Impression creates. Eyes see differently, spawn second, third, ultimate sight. Backward, inside out. Round the corner, up the goblin path. I have fallen in a well and can’t get out.
Creatures, cantankerous, calling home. Cell/cell. Squiggles, dents, rents – record the moments in the future tense. Matters less worldly. This I can bare. The inner hemisphere.
CONCEPTUALLY, HE WAS half his age. Segueing from washroom to wonderland/wasteland. Forever mixing genres. Deft of palette. Latterly de-constructed. Tricks learnt on Mischief Night. Erasing suggestion. The fore begun adventure.
Pinning himself down, pining for a mention, images conflated on an unframed canvas. Horses’ hair, cat’s fiddle, parrot’s palaver. Trust the possessed; perform the paranormal.
Can’t was out of the hat. Newspapers had indeed shrunk. He headed to the cemetery (Bunhill Fields). Quaint. Foreshadowing. He had harped before to no available bedfellow. He must get art. A skeleton greeted him. Distant tropes.
Make a mint out of that! Object to the physical – ‘a perfunctory affair’ – examine the influential, rent a warehouse, a rat. Turn in turns, machines, multipotentialities.
The space became him. Miscreant of conclusion, faker, strategist. He out-faced a maquette, collected forms. Filled in uninformed/uniform agenda, acquired an oubliette. Likened himself to the dispossessed deprived of stability. Heads above the trapdoor.
Christmas came, dislodged principle, set a side. Tree, bells, residue resumed authority, took a stance. Cast back plaster, his penchant for rumination. He cleared out.
LINDA BLACK is a poet, visual artist and editor of Long Poem Magazine: http://longpoemmagazine.org.uk. Shearsman has published four of her collections: Then (2021) Slant (2016), Root (2011) and Inventory (2008). The Son of a Shoemaker (Hearing Eye, 2012), collaged prose poems about the early life of Hans Andersen, plus the author’s illustrations, was the subject of a Poetry Society exhibition. The Beating of Wings was the Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice for spring 2007, when she received an Arts Council Writer’s Award. She won the 2006 New Writing Ventures Award for Poetry and received the 2004/5 Poetry School Scholarship.