Stride Magazine -


after W. Eugene Smith

Is the man walking into the dark or the light?


towers shift down to abstract image
flames and sparks engulf a man
umbrella   vase   web   x-ray   zebra
a fragile child held still and poised
your wife will get old but not mine

time-warped doubt coherently mapped
carnival logic of urban dreams
jelly   king   lion   mouse   necklace
reading deeply into the texts of others
there is no way to the surface

hope will be merely a straw man
exposure is just the starting point
elephant   fish   goat   hedgehog
shrewd self-preservation (legend pales)
stark contrast between dark and light


hunt through deserted corridors
slammed glass doors alway shatter
goluptious   gondola   goitre   gone
frustrated circulation and movement
reverse the orientation of matter

instant packaged exhibitions
and immediate comprehension
gorgeous   gorget   goodness   goon
each monument an encounter
one more useless scrap of metal

prepared to enter is no trap at all
forms of resistance can end
gonfalon   gopher   godetia   gong
gallery wall and cool white fluorescence
stark contrast between dark and light


lampshade hanging from a wire
pictures in musical order
untitled   interior   installation
desperate utopian compensation
ex-wife’s new home in the suburbs

the rhythms of the city change
change by being repeated
untitled   untitled   hot-roll steel
filamented lines and textures
arranged in a receding space

a drink and something to eat
a triangle between two roads
plywood   untitled   exterior
no mention of photography
stark contrast between dark and light


long moments of sheer beauty
no chance of us returning
gas stations   funeral parlours   motels
a misguided group of electrons
criss-crossing both sidewalk and street

pools of light and streams of silk
almost medical intimacies
shoulders   buttocks   arms   scuffed elbows
huge scale, glossy close-ups
accompanied by extended captions

the toolshed of childhood
secrets kept as long as could be
friendship   madness   passion   death
stolen and borrowed voices
stark contrast between dark and light


past the gift shop and reception
ready to abandon time
casual silence   early nights
thinking about warm water
breathing into airless lungs

ripping up carpets and settling in
a series of private meetings
marriages   friends   past lovers   children
the world out back transfigured
no less than a second honeymoon

hand clamped over mouth
memory frosting over
glacier   rockfall   frozen sea
white noise of repression
stark contrast between dark and light


radio stations as instruments
how we eat our young
telephone   scissors   perimeter fence
find me some new sounds
re-shape, re-order everything

simmering becomes boiling
from gas to solid to liquid
correction   collapse   reversal
we all rolled down our windows
as the past rode up to talk

the king of the island
became what had been dream
ladder   ocean   orchard
the man who brings assertion
stark contrast between dark and light


god of the wind and rain
whirling rush of spinning earth
damask   morocco   sandgrain   plain
floods scooping hollows in the rock
distant ridges still on fire

sharp-eyed curiosity
journeying across the map
ridged   ripple   stipple   cord
contemplate lost specimens
despair lined up along the road

only imagine what will follow
self-cancelling perception
brocade   coltskin   linen   lined
strategies restoring power
stark contrast between dark and light


dislocations such as this
explain intricacies of belief
bokhara   vermillion   forest   birch
memories of familiar objects
dust spinning out behind

intimacy and confused love
I tend to go a little misty
emerald   medina   tabriz   tan
no respect for nothing
all our lives are now in doubt

premonitions of disaster
travelling high vibrating lines
pristine   oatmeal   vellum   mist
tiny flowers and fragile timbers
stark contrast between dark and light


a breeding-place of wind and drift
difficulty turned into song
kestrel   fulmar   sparrow   dove
all the foghorns in the world
kilowatt hour by kilowatt hour

weaving through the debris
history apparently consumed
skylark   tern   flamingo   thrush
high winds and pressure drop
dwellings on a hillside

I stand in need of explanation
images taken for granted
bullfinch   plover   lapwing   kite
a passionate exercise in faith  
stark contrast between dark and light


swept along by wind and tide
welcome guests to the evening
smoke   scarlet   kraft   pearl
no time at the end of the world
how did you track me down?

a crowd of about two hundred
complained in thunderous voice
pink   damascus   citrine   stone  
a series of stylized tableau
the glove signifies the hand

contradict the new disorder
tortured and distorted flesh
sapphire   violet   maize   fern
I am taking apart the genius machine
stark contrast between dark and light


walking upright from the forest
corridors between makeshift rooms
trout   sturgeon   cisco   pike
portraits stare down from the walls
threatened with extinction

park the car off the public highway
is this the way to paradise park?
squawfish   pupfish   minnow   chub
moving along the invisible road
not with prayers but slogans

dramatic close-ups and bleaching techniques
interference between stations
darter   gambusia     wetjaw   toad
scratching and digging for a living
stark contrast between dark and light


proverbial swing of the pendulum
flashbulbs popping in the night
waffle   warble   wanton   ward
a man without hands pounding glass
fed up with lying in state

back to the moment of explosion
we need no explanation
whether   weather   weasel    warm
opposition seems to be shifting
the phone lines always adrift

negotiations breaking down
extolling the virtues of war
warrior   warrant   wheedle   weep
diagonal movement out of the frame
stark contrast between dark and light

          © Rupert M Loydell 2002