Saturday, February 06, 2016


David Clarke, "Blow," 2014, pewter and spoons

As if it were an outstretched arm & cupped
hand, made fine as any by Hilliard: carved
rock crystal, gold shaped to bear an unborn
sea to pale lips. That faint sound, the rustle
and shush of watered silk; and fainter, still,
under Argentan lace, a whispering pulse at
the wrist of the hand that holds the spoon.

So delicate, this coral tree grafted on a stalk
of shell-pearl white as shaved ice! Beading
sweat jewels the skin while women “naked
in different postures, some in conversation
others drinking Coffee or sherbet” wait for
the same slaves who brought them şerbet
spoons to weave ribbons through their hair.

Twelve apostles plus Christ, hammered out
of silver not nail-iron, forged as a set for the
child-to-be-immersed. These are now hidden
in a drawer, set in rows on rag paper, loosely
covered with a white cloth: a winding shroud
to preserve them from the rot of time, from
the degradation of touch on saint or spoon.

We two, who feed ourselves with art, lick it
in all its forms from a single source of joy like
sticky children sucking the sweetness from a
snow cone, staining fingers, lips, tongues—
we, too, carve ourselves into the necessary
shapes to dig a little deeper into that dish;
are cast, molten, into the forms of spoons.

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