A Pin-Art Edit
I’m at an exhibition of an artist
whose doll’s house eye-view, a pin-art
3D sculpture is a model of how to walk
through a space. It doesn’t do to remain
flat-footed, grass-eating your way
across a paddock of too familiar
landscapes. You need to unleash yourself,
tractor away the familiarities that revolve
like crop rings in your mind. It’s not
just an art school thing. You can’t stop
old ideas trouping their way through
your thoughts, but you shouldn’t be afraid
of a raving dog gone barking mad. It’s
in the art of others you find your growl.
And no matter how hard how hard it is
to adjust your eyes to the merchandise,
there’s always the promise of a troy
for measuring the weight of gold.
What is it but a heap of roughly hewn logs,
steeped together like hands arced in prayer,
hoping for a miracle that will deliver the right
word, the right phrase. You scatter kindling,
bric-a-brac - full-stops, commas and colons -
small igniters of meaning, waiting for the match
to idly choose its prey. Of course, it could all turn
to smoke, and no matter how much you blow
that wick of madness will refuse to light.
Or, with the nervous courage of a new-blown breeze,
it will take flight too quickly, consuming itself
into a pyre of ashes. Or, if you’re lucky,
it’ll slowly leap and dash into the crevices
of those logs, sparking here, striking there
and as you rest back on your haunches,
streaks of charcoal on the molten cross
of your forehead, you’ll know, you’ll know.
Hidden beneath the cluttered spill
of a stationary drawer, I saw you
in your camouflage grey, surrounded
by mini-staplers, post-it notes, tacks
and paper-clips fallen out of their box.
I picked you out from the crowd,
a finger-sized, razor-bladed thimble
attached to a see-through plastic well
of curl-toed shavings, manicured with lead.
You were the one I needed to make a point,
to sharpen the meaning of my words.
You were the one I could depend on,
nestled in the nub of my hand, free
to let my other hand turn like a spindle,
hoping to weave straw into gold.