How it began / something upon which . . .
Draw a figure I command cursively, so as not to forget – a soft-pencilled script disintegrating somewhat: a long tall figure – several balanced one on top of the other – kinship, inter-dependence – forewarned. Next day I turn over. I have this idea. I have this different idea.
I don’t – I start – at the bottom, a little way up, same pencil running smooth. Ok, good. I begin with a head tilted forwards, tumbling hair, arm (right) stretched ahead, as though asleep I’m thinking. How should the other one go. I give up, chop off its arms just above the elbow, turn the head sideways on, stick out a tongue, spikey hair. Neutral, ungendered, protruding ribs, its tail coiled as a mercreature, fanning out upwards, perfect for a thin limb to balance upon, back leg hovering, elongated neck – phloem, leaf-stalk, receptacle, sepal. Atop, a vase bereft of water (though you can’t tell), arm stalks fanning out – five of them, the middle one an open palm on which the pate of a lemon-head balances. I give it eyelashes, the tip of a nose, a thin straw to suck upon. I haven’t finished yet.
The artist balks
at possibility reminisces
off-loaded nascent squiggles
with what may befall
a bow, rimmed & rhymed, scored with fold, tied, translated …
distant yet near enough to probe
from dense bowers a creature may crawl, a heliotrope…
back is gone gleaned
yet not loosed as the soil may be
on the bed of a river
a slant row of houses (all fall down)
a poplar tree sharpened
A tulip fled
to the sky uprooted
at the lower edge the sea
forms scarp & ridge
an illusionist’s haven a place
for all such folk to harbour
In the wound light
the sward assembles nib & bristle istle & skein
fine-laced carpet blade & slender
purpose capers crissed & hatched
& overcome geese
line the sky sky’s lines
rub & scumble
© Copyright Linda Black 2020
Linda Black is a poet and visual artist. She has published three collections with Shearsman Books: Slant (2016), Root (2011) and Inventory (2008). The Son of a Shoemaker (Hearing Eye 2012), based on the early life of Hans Christian Andersen, and illustrated by the author was the subject of a Poetry Society exhibition in 2013. She is editor of Long Poem Magazine. Some of her visual work can be seen in Tentacular and 3am magazine. She has previously appeared in Molly Bloom 12 and 19.