Workshop Anthology

This page will become an evolving anthology, gathering texts produced by participants during the second series of workshops at Nottingham Contemporary in March 2011. Poems and short prose pieces – along with other kinds of texts – will be added to the collection as they come in, along with illustrations of the source works in the Jack Goldstein and Anne Collier exhibitions where relevant. Currently, we have work by Carol Beadle, Kirsty Fox, Carol Rowntree Jones and Tony Linde, and there will be more to follow…

Carol Rowntree Jones: Not writing about Marilyn

Marilyn’s mouth is open behind my back.
So predictable, to notice her.
Miller, addicted, could read
how her bones moved
from her footprint on a beach—
how her hips made him feel. Unsuspecting
men don’t reckon on falling in love again.
Life is interesting, not electric.

even the fall of the curtains makes me want you

So the picture I am not writing:
a life stacked in LP covers.
Dog-eared Marilyn, still breathes
glamour, still unapproachable
touch me, need me, I will sing…
still untouchable. No one is weeping.
Stacked against skirting in a white room
she steams beneath the white wall, draws us…

Carol Beadle: Installation: Volcano, Ocean

(after Jack Goldstein’s Under Water Sea Fantasy)

Fire bursts from earth’s prison
casting rocks aside with thunder
like a hundred bomber squadrons.
No people, no smouldering towns,
no shrivelled farms releasing ashy butterflies.
Projectors rattle, fire crackles
and the picture turns
to ocean – utter silence,
I could have lost my hearing
except for the projector’s whirr.
And this is no post earthquake tsunami
stopping ears and throats with sludge,
bearing its freight of bodies,
Toyotas and stoved-in fishing boats,
but a mute sea, loose and dense
with the flick of turning shoals
purposeful squid, a hammerhead
cleaving the blue,
parabolas of dolphins
whose sonic phrases are unheard.

Kirsty Fox: Sixteen Millimetre Nervous System

A contortion of the inside and outside mind, a brain that chugs and whirs like an old movie projector.  The lens adjusts focus, the circuits hiss with the tune of tinnitus, and the pulse knocks a rhythm on the attic walls. 

Inside the chamber which has no echo this is all I can hear, and out there in a deserted sandscape, exterior noises merge and cling to the sinews of mind and matter.  The empty nothingness is a blank tape, but you hesitate that if you could only hear the frequency, it wouldn’t be blank at all.  My eyes adjust shutter speed, blinking away sand and bright light, projecting their own needs upon the blankness…

 There is a white noise to begin with, which gradually moulds itself to perceived recognition – lonely animal voices calling out to their kin, the sound of large tyres rolling over snow, a ten pence piece dropped onto a tiled floor to roll away into a corner.  There is a delay between the light and the sound.  A man emerges in the static and I can hear him smile, hear his jumper brush his skin – hear the cocktail of sorrow and euphoria which I would see in his face, if I could only adjust my eyes to the light.

The scene whites out, the soundscape fades, and the old projector stutters to the end of its roll, a last despondent click and then silence.

Carol Rowntree Jones: Watching Tom and Jerry again, with teenagers

I’d no idea you’d been so scared
knew light fittings, the turn of a tail,
how the records fell on a 1950s stereogram
how the shark missed just there

Tony Linde: Nine 7-inch Records

1.
Behind a wire fence 
A large dog 
Barking 
At the stranger behind you.

2.
Black and grey, 
Never blue. 
Reach, stroke, over, breathe. 
Repeat.

3.
Getting the horses 
To come and go 
In just 
The right 
Frames.

4.
To stand in the face 
Of such a wind — 
Breathless.

5.
Even cats know 
When to stop 
Fighting.

6.
He finds it hard 
To fake the sound 
Of a tree 
Being felled.

7.
More like a lovesick sea-lion, 
Than the end 
Of empire.

8.
Even in an inferno 
We conjure the mirage 
Of rebirth.

9.
And so the wind dies 
To the crackle 
Of a record, 
Poorly copied.

 

Carol Beadle: This Charming Man        

(after Anne Collier)

Lies on rough ground,
left arm bent beneath his body,
right extended, head turned towards
his own reflection in the puddle
where his conjoined twin has drowned.

In spite of this, he seems alive,
comfortable in his world of sepia –
trust me, I’ve seen the dead,
though it’s unclear what he’s doing there.
Maybe, entranced by his beautiful face
he forgets to eat, and faints:
maybe he’s charmed himself to sleep.

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