after Philip Levine’s “The Two”
The black and white haze
Of strangers caught in a moment
on a random park bench
reminds me of boney stories
I cannot put flesh on.
You got married
in a place I have never visited,
yet I have seen you both
in chromatic photos
together smiling out at me;
shapes I have only ever known
as separate entities.
I heard you spent your honeymoon
on a park bench in Edinburgh,
you were happy then,
how bad must things have become.
Printmaking, Typesetting and the Space
Four small wooden blocks,
centuries old, probably,
defunct lettershop press.
Intricate I silk-screened,
marbled and block printed,
finally I sorted metal and wood type
Every white space between every word -
A printer has to think about negative space
as something tangible.
En Space - rectangular metal or wood
whose primary purpose is to be smaller.
It is never seen, it doesn't catch ink,
doesn't sit proud, not an ordinary character,
nonsense, a trick, a flourish, a dingbat.
Printing is as much an act of spacing
as an act of marking.
Inefficiency is a virtue in a print workshop,
spaces in the composition -
spaces in the workplace.
It doesn't take a turtleneck
to see why
blank space, is so moving.
Impure found poem, taken from an article by Lindsay Lynch, 'How I Came to Love En Space'., from The Atlantic.com, published Sept 9, 2016.
from 'Quick Succession'
Without you there is a world
with a place in it for me.
A nook not part of my being,
that says put on your galoshes
and pirouette for me,
Driving in the wrong headspace;
what if the breaks weren't applied?
Axe grinder, I urge: work meagrely
on my right temple, for you may burn out, die.
I wake each morning, the worst yet.
The moment we met your heart whispered
I will go the extra mile without hesitation or fear;
mine resonated back.
Mother didn't give birth to a comedian,
she lost control and brandished a poet.
Arresting blue, shadows yip
and heap inside,
I'll be dead when they are done.
Hitting to Hurt
after ‘The Leaping Lamb’ by Brian Kielt
Everybody saw us as the bull
and the lamb, that is how I hid for so long.
He was a chunk of a man; I sliced him
to bits with my words, buried him with shame.
I am sorry for using such callous language,
I’ll try to rein myself in; let’s start again.
The first time my hands rose, it felt
like they belonged to someone else;
afterwards I wished so hard that they did.
It’s not like it happened everyday
but the second and third time I knew
the fists were mine and I kept on using them.
He stood there as I threatened to leave him
if he didn’t fight back or if he did I’d go anyway;
soon I was saving all my energy and hitting to hurt.
Once I drew blood and no longer saw him
as either bull, husband or human being;
it was then I knew I needed help.
Surviving the Sea
Rare west wind blows coast to sea,
While I rewax board, stretch limbs
Climb into wetsuit, crash right into
classic combers rolling in on the Atlantic sea.
No rip current, in fact no current to speak of,
it's the wind carrying my pleading voice
away from the last jut of land,
from lighthouse, from all forms of rescue.
For thirty-two hours waves were my only earworm,
vying for attention as my mind scorched,
get me out of the sea, the bone grinding,
pervasive, seeped-in, cold of the sea.
No one knows the levels of dark that comes
when the sea tries to eat you at night,
black moonless sky, black land encircling,
black endless bed of ocean.
A single speck, yellow surf board no better than a
Canary in a mine,
blue flies set it aglow in the darkest hour.
Buff of wind, splash of mist,
paddling to preserve body heat,
If I close my eyes I will drown.
A seagull helicopters overhead,
I dream of being found.
Impure found poem , first published at Nocturne Podcast; Shortboard a podcast by Vanessa Lowe , August 10th 2017