Tuesday, 15 October 2013

inhabit this space: 53:44:44N; 0:20:51W

your face outside the spyhole
my fingers fumbling with the chain
the hurried introductions - small
talk really - and the mat

I made from cushions
the two pairs of tights you wore
the show you said you'd seen
where Nikki Monroe had done the same

your hands, so much bigger than mine,
giving way as I twisted your fingers
my settled weight on your chest and your stomach

bending your knees, my forearm flush against the tendon
in your ankle, my thighs right-angled 'round your head
the strangled sound you made

when you were finished
your retreat to the shower
the water we shared

                                            *     *     *
I was at ONE-Time Pad, the Thomas Scheibitz exhibition at the Baltic, today, and something about the work in it made me want to go back to an earlier project, though it might be better to call it an intermittent project as it's one without a definite end-point. inhabit this space is the name I use for a series of poems to which I keep adding, incrementally, and which have to follow certain rules: they are depictions, as minimally written as possible, of images that have made an impression on me in my life. Protagonists are never named. There are no titles: what amounts to a title for each poem is the latitude and longitude co-ordinates of the location associated with the event described. Emotion is kept to a minimum, as are punctuation and capitalisation. Only the image is given: think of each poem in the sequence as a punctum, in the Roland Barthes sense.

I last wrote a whole load of inhabit this space poems about three or four years ago. Most are still filed away under their co-ordinates. Some assume other titles and sneak into my work. Some I've read at gigs; some have been published. I'd like to bring them together sometime. I'd like to get other people to write their own too. A compendium of scenes from peoples' lives. A bearing of witness: these things happened here.

I often have other stuff to work on. I have other stuff to work on now. I have a workshop to finish preparing for, the poetry film I made with Laura Degnan is being shown at The Star and Shadow Cinema in Newcastle this Sunday, I have gigs in Plymouth and London in November and there's already stuff lined up for early next year too. And this is on top of transitioning, which is a whole other bag o'work in itself. So, yeah, I'm busy. A lot. But inhabit this space is the project that's always there, to go back to when I'm a little tired of being shouty and dramatic, when I want to not feel like a performing monkey for a while and reconnect with a purer, simpler kind of poetry.

I'll do something with it one day, promise.

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