Lisa Dart’s debut pamphlet was The Self in the Photograph (2005). In 2008 she completed her doctorate in philosophy and poetry. Her first full collection The Linguistics of Light was published by Salt (saltpublishing.com) in 2009. She is currently working on an experimental autobiography.
In the artist’s imagination
A stark northern canvas where time freezes.
A young woman’s standing with her back to us,
her head slightly bowed shows the vulnerability
of her neck, her apron’s thin line –
an imprisonment. She’s standing by the vacancy
of a polished table, near the only chair
the piano is blackly shut and both doors are closed.
There’s a pewter tray she has to take down
from the shelf to dust, a steel boiler
to be shone to the shine of cold.
How long before her hair is loosened by a breeze?
And the panelled doors his heart has closed
in tones of grey, open
to rooms of possibility –
to the girl in the woman, and sun, and white,
and a world of wild, blush-scented roses?
What we speak of when we speak of love…
How to name in some new way
a magpie’s empty nest –
stuff and sticks of grief
clogging open beaks and wings?
Or find the words for how a garden’s
Easter yellows traumatise?
And how the heart’s sphere
splits love to loss?
(amor: love; lunati: cut, divide, annihilate; solvo: unbind
agápe: charity; eros: desire; luxus: dislocate;
philia: friendship; storge: affection; fraliusan: lose, expiate)
What language does the magpie have
for all the stolen colours:
green sheen, blacks and whites between,
or ourselves – resurrected, alembic
and calling out in some bright-beaked-breasted-say
to the unspoken order of