Listen! I’m not talking a cake walk of “strong men”
tottering as giant toddlers in car-shell dresses;
I’m not talking soft on the inside like Schwarzeneggy
when he punched that camel in the face as Conan;
I’m not even talking the perforated industry of bees.
No, I’m talking Lidia who proves beauty’s never been
a floaty form that fits a concept with disinterest.
Beauty is a muscle of held breath lifting roots
of itself until a quantity of words or metal, say,
is made a personal best.
I don’t know if it’s a bit of death or some lost
cause that I’ve been grieving, but I’m taking heart
from the slo-mo asylum of your arms,
powering a sound-track of turbines, sirens
and creaking keels, as you thrust up
through the air’s water before squatting
down in your own element and cradling
the bar to yourself. Now that’s what I call
the beauty of under-standing: seeing a human
primed to burst free inside its own cells.
So we’re also talking anti-Tantalus:
not grapes or water out of reach, but causes
fleshed out and pushed to the level of effects
so a body may show how the surprising pauses
or lipstick it begins with may turn out to be “will
to power” or a portrait by Gerhard Richter.
That’s what I call the beauty of up-bringing:
surging to stand still as a war that’s made
a monument from all that time running out
of you and into other people.
It makes sense to exchange something absent
for something really solid and heavy,
and what a strange set of movements
you have to make to execute this present! –
one foot forward and one foot back,
arms raised victorious in surrender until
you can gather yourself to stand for it
and finally give it up. Watching you
I fucking love my life – and so it drops
back into place, falling happier once again.
- 100: BROWNFACESUBMIT NOW with W S Dunn 99: SINGAPORECOMING SOON with A Pang and J Ip 97 & 98: PROPAGANDAwith M Breeze and S groth 96: NO THEME IXwith M Gill and J Thayil 95: EARTHwith M Takolander 94: BAYTwith Z Hashem Beck 93: PEACHwith L Van, G Mouratidis, L Toong 92: NO THEME VIIIwith C Gaskin 91: MONSTERwith N Curnow 90: AFRICAN DIASPORAwith S Umar 89: DOMESTICwith N Harkin 88: TRANSQUEERwith S Barnes and Q Eades 87: DIFFICULTwith O Schwartz & H Isemonger 86: NO THEME VIIwith L Gorton 85: PHILIPPINESwith Mookie L and S Lua 84: SUBURBIAwith L Brown and N O'Reilly 83: MATHEMATICSwith F Hile 82: LANDwith J Stuart and J Gibian 81: NEW CARIBBEANwith V Lucien 80: NO THEME VIwith J Beveridge 57.1: EKPHRASTICwith C Atherton and P Hetherington 57: CONFESSIONwith K Glastonbury 56: EXPLODE with D Disney 55.1: DALIT / INDIGENOUSwith M Chakraborty and K MacCarter 55: FUTURE MACHINES with Bella Li 54: NO THEME V with F Wright and O Sakr 53.0: THE END with P Brown 52.0: TOIL with C Jenkins 51.1: UMAMI with L Davies and Lifted Brow 51.0: TRANSTASMAN with B Cassidy 50.0: NO THEME IV with J Tranter 49.1: A BRITISH / IRISH with M Hall and S Seita 49.0: OBSOLETE with T Ryan 48.1: CANADA with K MacCarter and S Rhodes 48.0: CONSTRAINT with C Wakeling 47.0: COLLABORATION with L Armand and H Lambert 46.1: MELBOURNE with M Farrell 46.0: NO THEME III with F Plunkett 45.0: SILENCE with J Owen 44.0: GONDWANALAND with D Motion 43.1: PUMPKIN with K MacCarter 43.0: MASQUE with A Vickery 42.0: NO THEME II with G Ryan 41.1: RATBAGGERY with D Hose 41.0: TRANSPACIFIC with J Rowe and M Nardone 40.1: INDONESIA with K MacCarter 40.0: INTERLOCUTOR with L Hart 39.1: GIBBERBIRD with S Gory 39.0: JACKPOT! with S Wagan Watson 38.0: SYDNEY with A Lorange 37.1: NEBRASKA with S Whalen 37.0: NO THEME! with A Wearne 36.0: ELECTRONICA with J Jones