Blip Magazine Archive


Home : Archive : Links

John Kinsella

Out of Picasso's Still-life 
with green apple and glass (1923)

Injected with preservatives
the apple becomes the glass becomes
the surface below the tree
which we ascend to get the best view
of dead nature: out there beneath
a canopy of artificial light
fixed to a primed canvas 
the lustre of inorganic pigments
shocks fruit into an eternal ripeness--
like the fridge's crisper.
In the kitchen--studio,
where body parts
are cryogenic
and carry mythological
oomph--we see it all:
that green apple
outshining the light
caught in glass, Aphrodite
compressed to a surface,
the unearthly glimmer
of structure.


Zone (echidna)  for JD

The echidna subjectively fades
amongst the imported hydrangeas: soft underbelly
personal and ratiocinate per funky inhabitants,
getting down stereotypes and glitz,
on the screens and at premières
watch third men medius terminus
so long out of contact, I write
measuring truth by length of emptiness,
stacked biologies undoing and working up God's
inner map, chartered x-ray or rogo: character actor
on low denomination coinage,
as roads criss-cross the remaining herbage,
stand on stand of old growth forest
conflated to football pitches per seconds,
as I root around the termite-ridden ground
surrounding clumps of mallee, hot 
to the core, a seriis vicissim ad jocos transire
a surly Mr Sterne might joke, provincial
and thinking over the channel, in real time
ceremony of my anthropo underworld living: I deflect
attention as I might say of you: it's a metaphysical trick
to get the artist in bed. Dead horses
hanging from the rafters of the Tate,
a stuffed squirrel revivifying taxidermists as artists,
an atom of my quill stuck on an Australian tourist's
inner-ripple, trod into the tower's carpet,
deposited in the restaurant of the Eiffel tower,
30 years downwind from the moonlanding
or Citroën's intra-cultural shuffle; the air
seems different. What do you think
as they grind you into personality?
Upstaged by publicity, their indifference
to sickness. Hey, do this for me. 
It will be great for both of us:
rage fade rage fade rage fade rage fade
reflected aphanisis the marks of our diggings
as I conflate. Let me tell you about hydrangeas:
litmus and universal, papered
against the mountains of gardens
edged in Snowdonia. We've got them
just down the road. Maybe on Storey's Way.
They're in papers buried in a national library.
They're in my childhood near where
I ran away ‹ to stop behind the post-box.
To stop and eat my store of biscuits.
Hoping to be found. On the TV Jerry Springer
conducts his freak show ‹ I'm the ringmaster
he intones, these are the performers.
Realtime distorts him. Another talk-show host
tries a publicity stunt. The death of Diana
becomes a tale of two cities
becomes cross-iconic and devolutionary:
we shall build will build, we will.
A local theatre company advertises
island-colonising workshops for 9 to 12-year-olds.
Empire of marginal unconscious,
elegant crime qua Lucifero com'io l'avea lasciato,
a fox or foxglove at high altitude, though not so high,
just in terms of, comparatively:
the fox is like a cathedral in English poetry,
what did Villon make of the fox?
I, echidna, slow moving, grubbing,
unctuous to some, bulldozer determined
to others, undo chaotically about the scrub,
unlike the methodical metro visitations
playing neat hands,  getting away with it,
L'Amour et Psyché at the bottom of it: the public
will lay claim to this, hot-core, pheromonal,
François-Edouard Picot, pyramid-selling his links
to an ancient heritage, Charlemagne reinforcing
lineage, progeny, the spectral arms industry
and flight after flight of warbirds
coming in over Thetford Forest in Norfolk.
Down the road the American Cemetery.
The dead lie in American soil framed by British 
primogeniture. Jam Tree, mallet, salmon gum, york gum, smoke bush,
sheoaks come from god knows where: god knows,

where, as if here is everywhere. Here is.
This body of the soldier.
Boadicea, Colchester, the Roman roads.
It's here. All here. Rodin, Camille. The familiar
icon, the feminine gesture. Here, I suckle my young.
My eggs turned out of my body.
Like words. Complete sentences
in themselves.

John Kinsella´s many volumes of poetry include Poems 1980-1994, The Hunt, and Visitants (all Bloodaxe-Dufours). He has written a novel Genre, a book of short stories Grappling Eros, and a play Crop Circles. He is editor of Salt, co-editor of Stand, International Editor of The Kenyon Review, and a Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge.

Maintained by Blip Magazine Archive at

Copyright © 1995-2011
Opinions are those of the authors.