.page_link a:hover { background: #000000; color: #ffffff; text-decoration: none;



JAZMINE LINKLATER

THREE POEMS / THREE DANCES*







1RITUAL DANCE


        i.

        The Gesture of Salutation rises diagonal
        easy eyebrow line begins from nostril edge
                                        opens the face: I come in peace
                                                                           I carry no weapons
        Presencing that, presencing this no confrontation
        acquiescence/invitation, even.
        We are plastic arts: viewer, sculptor, painter, piece
        bridge gaps ‘tween worlds: even when they’re spelled.


        ii.

      The Gesture of Supplication has arms raised
      hands plead, as if for rain
      as if to lift, separate the lashes.


        iii.

      The Position of the Dedication of the Spiritual Being
      should reflect total commitment of body & soul.
      The soul we never speak, could not locate
      colonised, cut off, prohibited
                sold back somehow some facsimile.
      In shops & salons now we make our praise.
      In discount Radox bathwater make offering
      sacrifice hair                           coolly blade the skin.
      Imitate art advert
      incite desire, embody ideal.


        iv.

      At temple we soak
      bleach-white cotton pads in products pure:
      opaque transparence         it’s the lies that sell.
                                     We want & so accept the surface
      not in ignorance, ignore the damaged truths
      Latin-cloaked ingredients    impermeable language medical
                                                        trusted source, amen.

        v.

      Hierodules we exist in
      links ‘twixt objects
      (observable/seen).
      What if glass were mirror?
      Vanity, your anger is not pure
      it’s neither heat nor smell nor aura.





2BACCHIC DANCE




        Flay the one
        you want to wear.
                Flay truth.          Your ribbons cut through history
                                                     like wind cuts through
                                                     small spaces     pushing leaves     aside.
        Aural residue
        embalms this present
        /past (appearance)
                                   abandonment
                                   (apparent).            Take tambour’s beat
                                                                             you back arch
                                                                 bacchic spine
                                                        a curlicue just like
                                                        his pards            just like
        & like & like:
                     flex & veil
        taut in feline flow.
                                                                                   The
                                                                                              shoulders
                                                                            roll
                                                                                    like waves
                                                                            blades blunt
                                                        in prowl & leap
        like gently discombobulating dreams

                                                        contortionist, contort
                                                        panthēra to pandura song
        its padded velvet
        purr pulls shallow
                                    in mimetic present                               dislocate

                      & you in all your music & dexterity
                                                                                         how does it feel
                                                                                                      to never truly know?
                      Night’s rhythm
                                  knots       knees
                      the working leg
                                             extends a new religion in technique:
        fool viewer
        to belief
                                                                                                                    )
                                                                                                        komats
                                                                                         punctuate           like kymbalon
                                            their two
                                    truncated spheres
                                          stroke time

        (
        count       dotted               roebuck skips                    & land
        with skins between
        your toes:                                                    hard wet red satin bulbs explode

        Aphrodite’s toss
        wins, O loving~knuckle~bones
                     the game is hard to play
                                  harder still:
                                  catch the prize

                                  so all in name & lyric
                                               so all & all unknown
                                                    like this  like this
                                                                  & this & this







3PYRRHIC DANCE




    The beginning and the end is breath
    & aspartame stagnates a suffocating twilight.
    Attention to a life leads one
    out to something larger:
    petition for the 49,000
    cover ground firm step strong
    (strike fear in the enemy).
    Motion takes on meaning’s weight
    weight increase momentum -
    where going           is unclear
    until you start to get there
    (the pace of flowing into war).

    Movement is primary
    & out of movement: approach / withdrawal.
    It revolves              one long moment
    circle round one centre
    (exceeding that circle, breaking
    line / limit / laws (natural geometry)

    & sticky crystals clamp the breathless twilight.

    Sing a song: you’ve been within
    the other person's skin, or mind, or body
    finding a degree of latitude for self-expression
                too oblique—too danger—

   They are seen to employ ‘relaxation’
   (the coming away from a position).
                   [this is not progression]
    Deserts don’t blossom rose
    light tricks, lends form
    to formlessness (oasis).
    Selective imitation           what’s petitioned for.
                                             [[forgiveness]]

    & it is twilight still.

    What can't move, can't think / feel

    —no malice, venom; cowardice no sneer.
    Embalm innocence by signature’s sweet myrrh
    & cassia; furtive animals eternally disgraced,
    name’s sin embalmed by document & history.

    The kinetics of the thing off-
    beat, the stance off-balance

    we are no longer dancing.

    The moment: repentance » initiation
    absolution spinning boundless, this
    outward form conceals, reveals
    a hope & proffers twilight’s darkening
    solidity (in new line drawn
    its jarring end a masquerading
    cadence suffocate, imagining that they
    could give permission, for being as it is.



   

  NOTES 



* These poems write through Cynthia Carr’s short text, Classical Greek Dance in Festivals, All England Dance (2008).

Ritual Dance:
‘even when they’re spelled’ borrowed from Amy De’Ath, ‘Vertigo Valley’; ‘neither heat nor smell nor aura’ paraphrased from John Berger, Ways of Seeing.

Bacchic Dance:
‘like gently discombobulating dreams’ borrowed from Lila Matsumoto, ‘I Saw Her Know (ii)’; ‘hard red wet satin bulbs explode’ paraphrased from Anne Carson, The Beauty of the Husband; ‘like this & this & this’ borrowed from Emily Critchley, ‘You jerk you didn’t write me back’.

Pyrrhic Dance:
In 2013, Alan Turing was posthumously pardoned for the ‘crimes’ he had been punished for under homophobic laws. In February 2017 49,000 men were subsequently pardoned posthumously; those still living were given the option to apply for a pardon, should they wish. Lines borrowed variously from: Scott Thurston, Reverses Heart’s Reassembly, Veer Books (2011); Daniel Stern, ‘The Issue of Vitality’ in Nordic Journal of Music Therapy (2010); Oscar Wilde, De Profundis (1913 edition).

If you are reading on a phone, we recommend these poems be read landscape so as not to disrupt linebreaks.


Jazmine Linklater is a poet & writer based in Manchester. Her work can be found in Datableed, The Literateur, Zarf, Paratext; her first pamphlet is forthcoming from Dock Road Press, Liverpool.

2017.