Constructed

Screen Shot 2017-08-17 at 16.37.03

 

you’re
\ \ \ so carefully constructed
flaunting what you
\ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ think
they want to see
\ \ \ a rare yet
\ \ \ ordinary concoction of
\ exotic and reliable
\ likeable, careful, reserved:
never
known.

but when you look in the mirror
thousands of dead
birds fly the nest,
falling out of your eyes
to rest
forever
\
still.

~Kate Gough, 8/6/17

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Narkissos

sooty secrets
buried in black:
bleak as beak.
windswept wood,
wild sweet orange,
swan’s neck swoops.
carefully curated,
beautiful mind hovers
over clear blue sky,
being.
reincarnation of
flightless, imagined
love, figment-tied:
lost.
so a
lone
—by Kate Gough
—17/8/17

Vincent

There are so many people, especially among our comrades, who imagine that words are nothing – on the contrary, isn’t it true that saying a thing well is as interesting and as difficult as painting it?
(Vincent van Gogh)

Painting is a faith, and it imposes the duty to disregard public van-gogh-autoportrait-chapeau-pailleopinion.
(Vincent van Gogh)

I come back dissatisfied – I put it away, and when I have rested a little, I go and look at it with a kind of fear. Then I am still dissatisfied, because I still have that splendid scene too clearly in my mind to be satisfied with what I have made of it. But I find in my work an echo of what struck me…
(Vincent van Gogh)

 Only he can be an artist who has a religion all his own – an original way of viewing infinity.
(Vincent van Gogh)

Still, there is a calm, pure harmony, and music inside of me.
(Vincent van Gogh)

One may have a blazing hearth in one’s soul and yet no one ever came to sit by it. Passers-by see only a wisp of smoke from the chimney and continue on their way.
(Vincent van Gogh)

b5986235aea58f292396ed0767429ae4

I’ve failed again!
(Vincent van Gogh)

What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?
(Vincent van Gogh)

It is better to be high-spirited even though one makes more mistakes, than to be narrow-minded and all too prudent.
(Vincent van Gogh)

*featured image: photograph of Vincent van Gogh

*image one: Autoportrait, 1889, Vincent van Gogh

*image two: Portrait of Vincent van Gogh, 1886 by John Peter Russell

Grey

 

I’m still in this place. Sometimes it seems I never leave.
*

Gallery, 2014

Imagine, if you will
a gallery piece
installed,
a row of plants at progressing
stages of growth, lined up in
pots and flash-frozen in time, breathing cold puffs,
crystalline
almost synthetic.

Imagine also
the moment the exhibit
starts
to disintegrate, freeing
gouged and frozen cells one by
one by one by
one in
unwilling surrender to Death
nutrient-free, famished, value
less.

Imagine, if you will
our lives, taken
out of sine, cosine, curve:

motion
less.

 

~ KG

*

The Ever-Processing Machine

I can’t find my incense. I don’t want to write. I desperately want nothing more than to write. For ever. So then, perhaps I’m just a stymied masochist at heart(less), doomed to miserable inaction for the rest of my days.

I do not dedicate myself as I should, as I need. . .

There’s a llama on my printer. A small one. A wedding gift, eight years and counting, staring me blackly in the eye. It knows. Trying to escape, my eye rests upon a small picture sat beneath my computer. It is my own babyface peering out with merrily blank baby eyes. The photo is overlaid with the thick shadow of a chain-link fence. This is me. Trapped by a shadow. Waiting for the world to do something. Trying to grasp the significance of the strange, cold eye that trains itself on me so often and aloofly clicks.

*click*

There’s so much crammed into this tiny office I could cry. I used to think I would write always and anywhere — give me a closet and a cardboard box, set me free with charcoal under a bridge and I would be unable to refrain from wordplay, perpetual swordplay with man and nature alike, taking the measure of everything by means of soul, squished then through a kind of linguistic strainer until all I had left was the juice, the essence, the concentrated taste of experience in this undeniably awkward universe.

Now that belief has shattered. It may have been true once, but I have lived into a future where I hide from myself — and everyone else — quite effectively. So here is a journal that is lacking all pretence, simply my words, simply me, all my flaws on my sleeve.

*click*

Can you see the chainlink fence?

I can. It’s all the mouldering critique in my soul. Surely if I put organic stuff in there it would become mulch instead of poison. Perhaps I am now more than part machine, and the organic materials cannot breathe. If I lived for aeons, my mouldering mulch would become the solid stuff of the planet, sandstone, limestone, volcanic rock jutting out of soft soil at awkward angles, baring its bones to escape unfathomable pressure. But I don’t want to be the solid stuff of earth, I want to grow. Become green in the sunlight, swing in gusts of wind, evaporate through expanding skin and rise to join the clouds, journeying towards a body of water and aching for the ocean deeps. Even the rocky shore submits to the tireless ministrations of moisture.

*click*

The cold, cyclopian eye is back. I think it wants to eat me. It’s everywhere, and I fear if I pay too much attention to it it might just absorb my essence. Like native people distrust photos, I distrust the all-seeing Eye with a maggoty, crawling kind of fear. I am sure it can erase my life, my futures, my Being in a moment’s time. How does one go about retrieving one’s essence from the maw of the beast? Can it ever regain its form? Its motivation? Its mind? I am not sure, but I will fight.

*click*

‘If the Furies Should Take…’

‘It is widely rumored, and also true, that I wrote my first novel in a closet. Before I get all rapturous and carried away here, I had better admit to that. The house was tiny, I was up late at night typing while another person slept, and there just wasn’t any other place for me to go but that closet. The circumstances were extreme. And if I have to — if the Furies should take my freedom or my sight — I’ll go back to writing in the dark. Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly, writers will go to stupefying lengths to get the infernal roar of words out of their skulls and onto paper. Probably I’ve already tempted fate by announcing that I need to look upon wilderness in order to write. (I can hear those Furies sharpening their knives now, clucking, Which shall it be, dearie? Penury or cataracts?)…’

~ Barbara Kingsolver, ‘Knowing Our Place’, Small Wonder