TINGE Magazine - http://www.tingemagazine.org

Issue 7

Selections from Be/spoke

 · Poetry

[When the body becomes everything it is given]
After the Alexander McQueen collection Highland Rape autumn/winter 1995 — 96     

When staggering down the runway wearing tartan over torn lace
When thin leather sheaths ripped across the chest
When hooded silk robes fallen open
When inner thighs smudged with red
When only cut grey lace covers the body
When breasts exposed from an unbloused jacket
When stocks edged with a Stuart ruff enclose the neck 
When sleeveless torn satin paired with cutaway shorts 
When cigarette butt appliques & satin ruffle lengthway
When bodies a ravaged country
When a buried history of England & Scotland
When obsolete colors fulwe, maidenhair, sad, vernal, watchet
When a man yelling, Have I offended you then?
When the body becomes everything it is given


* * *
Council House, 1972 When did you know you wanted to be in fashion? When I was about 3 years old, I drew a dress on the wall. And what dress was it? Cinderella. When she turned, I’d never seen anything like it. Dress made for charming prince and fairy. I could manage the little sleeves, tiny waist rising out of skirts which laughed as they traveled with her across the ballroom floor. And they had stars woven in them. I got caught wondering, how to draw that color — sea coast changing to dawn. There was trouble, but I didn’t care. I knew it was the dress that saved her. All the rest was just a story.
* * *
Whisper the Water “Oyster Dress”, from the Alexander McQueen collection Irere, spring/summer 2003 White petals set loose and gathered by a single thread Toss and toss as if it were me that flung them, not the sea Bed upon bed of oyster shells each turning their pearly tooth Judder of small hooves fling and fade Half moon upon half moon I whisper the water and you hear this We are kin we are kin we are wind Whorl and whelk of gesture upon gesture With or without that layer of your name Across the ether we still find ourselves The airy cage, it cannot quell The ear of sea stays inside us Remember how this whelming stirs you And drunken undulation of brazen yesses When the artillery of small pauses comes fully in us With a sum of undertones hemmed, then turned asunder Like a thousand foundlings, unhinged from a fusillade of swells If you draw your fingers through Of Maiden Hair, silvery Hart’s Tongue bloss-sprung From their silurean bed to small wings inside Untether your atonement, here is hushling. Pulse here, here, feel, skirr Your distance is already in you. Brushes your hunger, clean and wild Wind banks, begins again, here the coppery bite of salt Sighs twist and press, each layer a simulacrum of itself Swells layered and purled, like waves riding through Always more than the singular soft layers both shale and seam Vows carried out by the center, now all else Elements of sage, elements of moss, shorn and washed, thrust among Wave and runch bestirred from cerulean shell. The last swerve, the last anodyne, We wander together in this swale. Pulse here, here, feel, skirr Untether your atonement, here is hushling. From their silurean bed to small wings inside Of Maiden Hair, silvery Hart’s Tongue bloss-sprung If you draw your fingers through Like a thousand foundlings, unhinged from a fusillade of swells With a sum of undertones hemmed, then turned asunder When the artillery of small pauses comes fully in us And drunken undulation of brazen yesses Remember how this whelming stirs you The ear of sea stays inside us The airy cage, it cannot quell Across the ether we still find ourselves With or without that layer of your name Whorl and whelk of gesture upon gesture We are kin we are kin we are wind I whisper the water and you hear this Half moon upon half moon Judder of small hooves fling and fade Bed upon bed of oyster shells each turning their pearly tooth Toss and toss as if it were me that flung them, not the sea White petals set loose and gathered by a single thread We wander together in this swale The last swerve, the last anodyne Wave and runch bestirred from cerulean shell Elements of sage, elements of moss, shorn and washed, thrust among Vows carried out by the center, now all else Always more than the singular soft layers both shale and seam Swells layered and purled, like waves riding through Sighs twist and press, each layer a simulacrum of itself Wind banks, begins again, here the coppery bite of salt Brushes your hunger, clean and wild Your distance is already in you.
* * *
Shears Silk tweed gray felt sable damask flannel Glory of sharp tool be the lasting part of me Plip scut slew slew all sounds fall still Have you seen the fox? Which way did he go, he go? Hither and thither clean sheets clean sheets Somersault boundary for a thimble’s jig Double-tonguing a syncopated flute Listen sharply: the hues are parting Sliding up and from the blazing center No slake for hunger Of quick, of nimble Two ships run together like quicksilver Driven by a storm along the littoral Pint in the tap. Curved flay of shears. I’ve cut away the waste. Now bring me a sow’s ear! from Basil Bunting
* * *
Cause I’m a Freak Bitch Dress from the Alexander McQueen collection Plato’s Atlantis spring/summer 2010

] engineered silk [ ] natural [ ] reptile, or insect [ ] bell skirt [ ] once a girl, fawn [ ] fish [ ] native [ ] lightness [

] sea rushes quiet[ ] dawn’s fingers [
] moon in my blood, light changing to water [ ] no cloak, no drapery to cover my bare legs [ ] soon I’ll long for this world and the girl [ ] was in it [ ] now sinuous, now rare [
] and yet alive like leaving [ ] not leaving [


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