In Caravaggio’s Seven Mercies you see them poking out,
a pair of dead men’s feet, holding place for now—
two small anchors wedging open the door of the light,
though darkness has arrived.
In ‘Quarantine,’ Eavan Boland guides you back in time, See, she says—
the famine dead, look at this woman’s cold feet cradled by her husband
against his chest before both hearts give out to hunger, too much
too little, too tired so cold, but see, this trace, this tenderness
these feet, chest, hands, that they still could (and in which darkness).
After the death of Keats, moulds are cast of his face, his hands, feet,
or at least a hand, at least a foot. The reflection of his dead face is a double,
painted by Severn, as if granting immortality, replicas of the face in plaster
stone, copper, packed in tissues, in boxes, even in present day kept,
sold, stroked, adored as if—
The foot and hand (cold, incapable of grasping) lost, form ghostly outlines,
adumbrating the solidity of absence.
The Tollund Man’s hood is removed by peat, a narrative inscribed by uncanniness—
ropes and knots, his terror all so far removed, as if the past was really a foreign place.
His perfect face, the pillowed lips, the feet, long boned and elegant.
After they find him, they preserve the head but leave the rest to melt back
into the anonymity of decay.
When you died, they wouldn’t let us see any part of you at all.
We had to imagine your face your body transformed.
I would have touched your feet, I swear.
At least a foot, a toe, I would still have loved you
before the night
before the light
and you were gone for good.
- 109: NO THEME 12with C Maling & N Rhook 108: DEDICATIONwith L Patterson & L Garcia-Dolnik 107: LIMINALwith B Li 106: OPENwith C Lowe & J Langdon 105: NO THEME 11with E Grills & E Stewart 104: KINwith E Shiosaki 103: AMBLEwith E Gomez and S Gory 102: GAMEwith R Green and J Maxwell 101: NO THEME 10with J Kinsella and J Leanne 100: BROWNFACE with W S Dunn 99: SINGAPOREwith J Ip and A Pang 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