Issue 23: Catherine Street

Tropics and Temperate Lands

Part one TROPICS

A coral star

Lilac pods

Custard flames

Pop vermillion

Tilting iris

Tactile emerald mirrors

A mouth yawning in a forest of dendrites

Balanced star fruit and banana fountain

Millipede is poisonous under the tree of Côte d'Ivoire where she journeyed in full colonial garb

Yellow and orange dashes like the stripes of the mamba

Something called A death diary

Flaws apparent on her face are covered with heavy foundation giving her cheek a dusty feeling

Knotted into an ampersand

Bats at night with luminous eyes

Embracing burgundy tassels and wavering in stripes like a mint humbug

The grasses of Borneo shiver in the breeze

Like the conga eel slumped in black tunnel lying heavy and purple but ready to lumber out slowly

Deceptive orchid with her exclusive perfume attracts the bee

Trellises spin in the forest with blood shot eyes: purple half moon

The hooker’s lips plant is elated psychosis

Two glossy calyx

Pollinated by humming birds

A succulent that is half plant half man

Another lives for a thousand years

Spiral whirlpools of cloud escape from the centre whilst multiple seeds break and scatter

Spinning in sage green coil, duly detailed and hinged

A flower of baking soda

The mountains of South America host the carnivorous marshy pitcher plant

The blood and guts plant

Red slime dripping like murder, like the fangs of the octopus

Transverse section bristling with tiny hairs staged on a rocky outcrop

The beautiful scent of delicately striped

Willing down vines caress her cheek

The soap is turquoise and pearly as she washes her hands

Next to a pink slush puppy spilled on the ground

I hope you can hear the smiling in her voice


You said burn and a haze gathered before my eyes

I urinated off a cliff on the edge of Montagne Sainte-Victoire as you copied Seurat and my piss made a steam against the cave

You said pop and drift Buckminster Fuller in gun metal green flung over the persistence of vision

I read about number, the salaciousness of zero, as you philandered

Wave by wave pulsate longingly spins your eyes twirling like the tail fin of Nicki Minaj

Bottling and bulking as you flip the cards it’s just detritus floating

She said it will damage your head

She said it sold for ten million dollars

Flipped out

A black spot hovers above your navel gently pulsing quailing desperately singing for a never arriving

I saw his eyes make saccades as blood poured from his head

I removed my ripped red blouse futilely cushioning his broken skull

Flashed and steaming sambuca covered the street

Head worm is revolting as chevrons love each other in black and white

Two cylinders push and grind against one another as you slipped through the net to find heart white hart

Now you’re sick and your eyes rove from one to one another recurring like a man standing on a ladder with electrodes

Sometimes I like to imagine my interior organs rubbing together, taking pleasure in the stickiness between the membranes as I run

For some reason as I approached her painting I thought her notes would be about this but it was geometric almost like torture 

Hans Bellmer spins with girls and tiny chevrons she said do you like that kind of transgression?

I don’t know how she makes it so straight and perfect

I washed up in the tropics as that red pulse bore down upon me ever reaching for more for more

Was she febrile in stillness did she flutter like tubular satin?

Shocks she saw this despot of trickery now we’re pitted man against man and woman against woman

I remember that Gaugin painted beautiful paintings but he said that the aborigines would get down on their backs for him at any time

The flank of your horse quails beneath you

You think for a long time before answering it’s like the words are unfathomable inside your head

You smile at me uncertain, you tremble, and I just keep on emptying chemicals into your slight body

Catherine Street is a visual artist and writer working across video, performance, sound, writing, drawing, painting and collage. She’s always asking herself what sort of work she needs to make in order to be nourished and to nourish others. Much of her writing is arrived at through a process of free writing and often writing in the context of the art gallery. She retains an ongoing interest in the workings of the mind and what could be called a yearning for synthesis within the complex web of sciences and spiritual practices that pivot on the mind.

Recent projects include a film commissioned by LUX for the celebration of the centenary of Scottish filmmaker Margaret Tate, and the exhibition Now 3 at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.

Copyright © 2019 by Catherine Street, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.