August 2006

Cracks in Canvas

Posted by Rupert Mallin on 4 August 2006 at 10:34 in Poetry

Tags: canvas cracks

I thought I heard you crying.
Or the sky.

I thought gulls were cracks in canvas.
Or their cries.

I thought tears were hanging from your lashes.
Not from mine.

I thought I heard you screaming.
Or a jet.

I thought I caught seas jumping from a brush.
Or finches twisting in a net.

I thought I heard you dreaming.
Or the earth.

I thought I would catch you falling from your blushes,
Not in death.

I thought loaded knives of light were life,
Not beached anguish in the nightmare
Of this breath, this breadth
Of skin – this 'scape of sky and sea;
This falsity, these lies.

I thought I heard you dying.
And the sky.

I thought gulls were cracks in canvas.
Or your eyes

In strokes of noiseless gashes
Bloody from the vine.

I just thought I heard you crying,
Girl of my ashes.

Rupert Mallin

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Art School

Posted by Rupert Mallin on 4 August 2006 at 00:00 in Poetry

Tags: art school

Chalk and charcoal net these images,
Hard edged or smeared with fingers:
A bottle wrapped by lines laid
Line over line to restrain
My interpretation of the real.

Yours is 'truth to materials.'
You pick up steel and see steel,
Not the stain of a black forest
In a sheet of tarnished aluminium.

Yours is 'truth to morals.'
You handle wood and see wood,
Not the pain of a breach–birth
In the handle of a hammer.

Yours is 'truth to money.'
You model clay and see clay,
Not murder's grey estuary
Or worms going down for air.

There is no denotative tool or bag of tricks
For reality has no measure but the quick
Of gestures marked upon a pane of light.
I scratch and scrape at the sun to escape
But in line upon line I am caged.

Rupert Mallin

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Still Life

Posted by Rupert Mallin on 4 August 2006 at 00:00 in Poetry

Tags: art

I am the black line beside each vein,
Leisurely, luxurious, deep as an ocean,
Thinner than cotton.

I hang from horizons
Behind breeze teased underwear,
Flat and fluttering upon the land.

Or curl up beside bones,
Orchestrating my growth to violins
Within the scaffolding.

I tighten the skin drum,
Lie thick in napkins,
Bleed all corners

Of simple symmetry. I am
Neither fillet nor feather,
Though I am that to which I cling.

Am a cavernous ghost
In a crevice, impossible to fill.
Emptiness is my fuel

In the cold ash of ovens,
In a duct not a tear,
Too small for forensic.

Am beneath all, invisible,
Until lifted from the soil,
Like stories, like holes.

I hog fridges and kilns,
Make a home of a scream
And am paint's illusion.

I am essential.

Rupert Mallin

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