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December 2004

u figure

Posted by Lisa D'Onofrio on 2 December 2004 at 22:59 in Poetry

Tags: figurative

u figure, by Lisa D'Onofrio View image

i
grew her
to fat, so she filled the room
when i walked away. her curves her hollows
became me, forever and before we had
met, i had always been the
jam in her
bun
with each
lip–smacking and the letting fly of
lumps she weighted me, we left each other
waiting, and no one under
stands there was less
of her to
love

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For M (who painted the bathroom floor blue)

Posted by Lisa D'Onofrio on 2 December 2004 at 17:49 in Poetry

Tags: bathroom blue

For M, by Bronwen Edwards View image

It had felt the slap and
tickle of feet —
bare and wet
the cat, the mat,
the thud, the pat
and now, its colour drained,
it had settled under the steady stroke of just two pairs.

She knew this blue.
It had played beyond her lids
while chopping fruit, and spreading bread
or hanging clothes
while gazing out the kitchen window,
descaling fish
defrosting the fridge,
leaking time.

At 4am,
more paint than skin
she is rocked to sleep
her toenails dreaming in blue

and wakes, excited –
shrieks at the scene
it was not meant to be like this,
so again she mixes, tastes, examines
and goes to sleep
anchoring the room with her paint–splashed clothes.

On the third morning
knowing that the colour matches the one that lives in her head
she isn’t surprised to see
the bath tub sailing down the corridor
the towels waving behind.

Lisa D'Onofrio

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Story of my life and death

Posted by Lisa D'Onofrio on 2 December 2004 at 17:36 in Poetry

Tags: death fortune life

Story of my life and death, by Bronwen Edwards View image

I went to the fortune teller
And she said to me
I don’t mean to scare ya
But you’re coming back
As the worm in tequila

Lisa D'Onofrio

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I have forgotten how to cook

Posted by Lisa D'Onofrio on 2 December 2004 at 17:33 in Poetry

Tags: cook

I have forgotten how to cook, by Bronwen Edwards View image

I

My fork casts a net
over food prepared for me
by other people’s hands

In floating kitchens
my nets come back empty
the gravy thickens into a dirty puddle

In the supermarket
I am lost
my gleaming ribbed charge and I
wander despondently
trying to decipher
the meaning from the glare

The potato just a thing
with too many eyes
tomatoes plump and mocking

Ladies fingers beckoning with
empty promises
an aubergine cold and hollow

Once comforting in its incarnations
Melanzana
Eggplant
Berenjena

Food in its multiplicities
a strange continent
and my visa application
has gone missing

II

Something has stirred
carrots greet me
orange with possibilities

Kernels burst from their
silken wrappers,
a cabbage crinkles with mirth

My fingers tremble
with the beauty of the
first cut

that reveals designs
that the recipes do not
I slice thinly, sauté

Add and taste
sprinkle and whisk
We come together

To follow i knead
my cool hands
ensuring pastry with bite.

Lisa D'Onofrio

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Trolley trilogy

Posted by Lisa D'Onofrio on 2 December 2004 at 16:54 in Poetry

Tags: trilogy trolley

Trolley trilogy, by Bronwen Edwards View image

1

Do the trollies lark
In the trolley park?
Do they muzzle each other?
And cause a spark
Do they maraude the street
When it gets dark
Cruising silently
Silver sharks
Do their ribs hold precious secrets
We cannot start
To understand?

2

When I am old
And do not care
What other people think
I will collect trollies
Like other women gather china teapots
Or stray cats
I will muster them in my back yard
Where, if they wish
They may bleed
Or pirouette under clouds, or roll aimlessly
The long grass tickling their ribs
Unburdened by necessity
In my back yard
It will be eternally
Palm Sunday

3

I hate seeing
A lost trolley
Gleaming ribs
Circling seagulls
I want to take it home
Paint it
Tie balloons to its handles
And tell it
It’s ok
To be empty

Lisa D'Onofrio

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The story of my life and death

Posted by Bronwen Edwards on 2 December 2004 at 15:16 in Art

Tags: death life

The story of my life and death, by Bronwen Edwards View image

This again was a response to Lisa D’Onofrio’s poem. I thought it would be interesting to construct this image in 3D form using several different layers, including model-making, mono print and linocut. The poem is a sharp, short and rather defeated piece, and so this was mimicked by the words winding down to find the ending of the poem at the heart of the piece. The story of my life and death shows the worm in a 3D box frame, reminiscent of Victorian taxidermy, or pinned down as the butterfly that never was.

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I've forgotten how to cook

Posted by Bronwen Edwards on 2 December 2004 at 15:13 in Art

Tags: cook screen print

I have forgotten how to cook, by Bronwen Edwards View image

I responded to this poem in much the same way as Trolley Trilogy. The image is a screen print, which depicts the celebration of the art of cooking by strong colour held within a dynamic swirl.

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Trolley trilogy

Posted by Bronwen Edwards on 2 December 2004 at 14:59 in Art

Tags: trilogy trolley

Trolley trilogy, by Bronwen Edwards View image

The humour within Lisa’s poem and the celebration of a rather humdrum, overlooked domestic object – the shopping trolley – immediately struck me. I found the strong graphic look of linocut combined with the lively celebratory colours using screen print evoked the mood of the piece. The heart of the image leaves behind the orderly, laborious trolleys to emerge as joyful, exuberant objects, reminiscent of tying balloons to their handles and being told it’s ok to be empty.

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Brekinupbrokendown

Posted by Bronwen Edwards on 2 December 2004 at 14:38 in Art

Tags: broken

Brekinupbrokendown, by Bronwen Edwards View image

For Lisa's poem: brekin/up/broken/down

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Basketcase 1

Posted by Lisa D'Onofrio on 2 December 2004 at 13:20 in Poetry

Tags: basket decipher open

Basketcase, by Bronwen Edwards View image

it's like tape you see, glittering from a distance, looping through branches and wire fences/
you think – that's so pretty –and for a moment you forget you've seen it before and it draws the corners of your eyes in/
you get up close and see the plastic carcass, disembowelled in the mud, it's innards – brown tape suddenly dull when the sun goes in/
when i felt it the best i can say was it was like that transparent cassette case/
nothing in me put me in a player and push on and nothing will come out/
and i tried hard to think but thoughts blew me away and they thought they could see right through me/
they didn't like that so much was visible i was festooned with workings and words/
here now the insides have been taken out and put on display, hanging from the washing lines, waiting for the light so they can dance/
the stuff i took made me like that case – see through nothing going on here mister and im wearing my insides out still

Lisa D'Onofrio

Poet's comment: This piece represents the first entire collaboration by Bronwen and myself. I had had the image of a basket woven with words in my head for some time, and had discussed this with Bronwen. I then went away and wrote the words while Bronwen worked on the piece. The words are meant to be flowing, but I used a jagged sentence structure to represent the disparity between the narrator and others' perception of her. I love this final piece – in it I feel you can see a real development in both our work.

See also Basketcase 2

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Basketcase

Posted by Bronwen Edwards on 2 December 2004 at 13:16 in Art

Tags: basket decipher open

Basketcase, by Bronwen Edwards View image

It was clear between Lisa and myself that the main image should be in the form of a basket, suggesting the title of the piece and encompassing many more links with mental breakdown. I imagined it to be monochrome and to be semi-transparent, open and vessel-like. The poem itself is displayed so that it can be read, but deciphering is hindered by the weaving of the words, scrambled in places and blank in others.

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brekin/up/broken/down

Posted by Lisa D'Onofrio on 2 December 2004 at 10:59 in Poetry

Tags: broken

by Bronwen Edwards View image

rarelynowiimaginsomethinin
bedwithme,sumbeingthatlies
bymysideitswarmbellybeating
thrumystrainedskinchestbehind
thehollowofmine,foldinmeup
insoftsparrowwings
singingoverandoveritwont
happenagain.

Lisa D'Onofrio

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The Witch at No 66

Posted by Lisa D'Onofrio on 2 December 2004 at 10:53 in Poetry

Tags: witch

With each skinning she gave
I grew larger
(milk, and pancakes, glistening sweets)
padding myself
from the inside out
I tried not to question
why smoothing scraps of wood, in his shed
was more important than noticing

A path out of the darkness came with a boy –
and a girl – cooked for 9 months, their father
(Milk, and pancakes, glistening sweets)
pressed to breadcrumbs under my bulk –
I raised them into wholeness,
glazing them with spittle
(milk, and pancakes, glistening sweets)
still getting bigger
I’d have bent over backwards for trying,
but I could hardly make it up the stairs.

I realised, too late
how they struggled for air,
under my weighty gaze.

In the long afternoons,
when the sun melts the road into stickiness
I hear other people’s children playing
daring each other to knock at my door.

Lisa D'Onofrio

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Relationship in 8 syllables

Posted by Lisa D'Onofrio on 2 December 2004 at 10:50 in Poetry

Tags: relationship

biscuit crumbs
the bed
between us

Lisa D'Onofrio

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