‘Body mass is conduit.
Insubstantial Thoughts on the Transubstantiation of the Text, 2002
Yellow dead rose meat,
our friend’s gift all dried up.
So I hold it in the mouth,
a site, and breath through
the rough bud mask,
rehydrate worn petals with saliva.
It’s a matte gold returning
to earth. My minor escape is in asking,
what language did the girls speak
on Glamorgan coke piles
Girls in a world of their ornamentation.
Tongue gripped in all times
slightly floral and vulgar.
Breathing out, a softening
unfreshed rock breakers, with
potpourri; outta time outta mind.
When feeling the *(*_ of others
we touch our fresher faces.
Cnawn(flesh) births us so we peak
in here with our languages.
Cnawnol is of of of of flesh,
but the inverse of peak is trough.
An inverse of poetry
is all in the shoulders, bone
soldered to metal (that melts).
Words form from their eyes and attire
and I clumsily brought them here over
a drooled petal, my out-there scapula.
There was a bloody iridescence
on coal tip, leftover scrap and
symudliw in all directions.
I want to make a joke or a flourish but
the violence drains through.
My eyes to their eyes and damply lipsbrow.
The old rose, a portal.
If words outlive bodies,
then a coal rose is no less
a rose in the face in a chain of exhaustion.
Pinned to their apparel,
a sepia glitter. If only we
would just repress our real interests.
But glinting the thread that picks us up
ties us to their rough stars, pins
cloth roses to the brow and
it was as if briefly I was the one
who had died at Disney Land Paris
I mean Tredegar. And in the animal phase
of the coke pickers dream,
in the parts where they found what they wanted
& attached their trysor to drab rags,
I found them bead, feather, broach
jocan, bratiaith. They scorched the
earth back through the lens.
Dwi eisiau clywed eu sgwrs nawr.
Some camaraderie of carbon economies,
crash counting, stacking
our amalgamative vulgar multilingual,
continuous in peaks,
and troughs of unsleep and disease, injury,
miscarriage and elsewise.
They put a petal on it,
solidarity wacsing; ur
grips her girl’s belt and adorns us,
her brow is bratiaith.
------After portraits of female workers from the Tredegar Iron Works, Wales, 1865, photographed by William Clayton------
Ritual Poetry: A List of anti-techniques
- The refusal to emo-labour the job beyond the pay
- Yeah mate ‘who of duck’s bone had made her needle-case.’
- Each space in a tiny ficto-critical how the fuck
Poetry as escape, ritual as escape, everything orange, at least for one
------After David Jones------
in the body, a corona swaying
have mercy on my phonemes
and check where the tongue is
when reading, writing
you press the palate
tongue down, that’s experience
tongue up, that’s engagement
tongue to the top-back enamel
that’s where pleasure expresses
three emotions in the front mouth
three in the back
and the middle of the mouth is neutral
there’s a mathematical formula for this
it makes a rhythm,
on the half beat, your partner might come in
but with a regular beat, means you’re no longer in love
and how do we get to pleasure?
Or to the four pleasures to be precise?
The body reading the other body,
first then comes eye contact
but, remember gender comes in, we’re conditioned, I’m afraid.
There’s desire too. Between the three emotions: anger, sadness, happiness
and eight more emotions
and there are really only eight stories too
Laughter in the belly, it cleanses the organs,
when was the last time?
Anatomy prompts emotions.
When did you cry with tears last?
That’s not right, yes, it could be dehydration, but
which sad face is convincing?
stop here, pause, this.
How do actors sustain it? Stamina, yes,
but it’s before stamina, leaning back, I say,
this isn’t good poetry, I pick up your notebook
you won’t react yet, you’re conditioned
not to show anger, so when you walk away…
try breathing out with the tongue like that
can you feel the heat? in the cheeks? Or in the stomach,
do you feel neutral?
Feeling the curve around the table too.
Or there’s an envelope of mosquito net, or
hey, you seem interesting, i er e i / nt r st ng
interesting, there’s no gap for a response
No, it’s not in your accent.
Do you feel neutral?
Mother of OYSTER
a vehicle one foot
a vehicle an other foot
a vehicle one hand, bivalvic
a vehicle: manual contact
the clam stretch
I got you in a market in which country
City of Flea
the opposite of en pointe
is grounded, is one thing, is buried
no telos in here
heightened in the dark room
‘More than meat or drink. Better than stars and water. Words birthed. Made flesh. Took wing. Horrids and enormities. Chantcasters. Daubing lunarscapes’
Geraldine Monk, Insubstantial Thoughts on the Transubstantiation of the Text. 2002
[Nia Davies is a poet experimenting with embodied practice. Her publications include All fours (2017, Bloodaxe) and editorship of Poetry Wales (2014 - 2019). She completed doctoral research into ritual and poetry in 2021. Nia's second collection is forthcoming from Bloodaxe.]
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