Monday, September 20, 2010

poetry snapshots: anne welsh


Stigmata
after Annette Messager's Story of Dresses

I am corseted in seal-bone to fit into this dress of ugly taffeta.
Inside my glass coffin I smell his skin beneath my fingernails,
the salt of my own body, the paint from the wall on which I hang.

It is cold here in the gallery, colder than the East Coast Scottish winter
and I am visible but not visible like hoarfrost on a morning fresh with snow.
You sound out the word in French that he pinned upon me:
P-R-O-M-E-S-S-E

and something in your harsh southern vowels breaks both glass and spell.
A slow bleed falls from my right wrist onto the paper, blotting out
his promissory note.
I hold my hand out to you, not knowing if you'll take it;
if this twin ache in my ribcage is from twenty years' seal-bone-too-tight-binding
or something ice inside it that your star-hard voice may also melt or shatter.


Photo: Naomi Woddis http://www.flickr.com/photos/naomiwoddis/collections/72157622849627811/

Anne Welsh’s work has appeared in journals including Poetry News, Agenda Broadsheet and English and is forthcoming on http://www.tate.org.uk

as part of its Bigger Picture project and in the Tate Poetry from Art anthology (launch event 25/09/2010 Tate Modern). She posts weekly writing prompts at http://annewelsh.tumblr.com
and blogs at http://annewelsh.wordpress.com

About the publication:

Stigmata was first published in Seeking Refuge, edited by Jan Fortune-Wood (Cinnamon Press, 2010), in support of the London Cold Weather Shelters. This is one of a series of anthologies to grow out of Ruth O'Callaghan's events at Lumen and Camden which bring together well-known poets and those just starting out.


1 comment:

annewelsh said...

If anyone is interested in attending the Tate Anthology launch this Saturday (free), you can find out more about it here: http://pascalepetit.blogspot.com/2010/09/launch-of-poetry-from-art-at-tate.html

and

here: http://www.tate.org.uk/modern/eventseducation/talksdiscussions/22322.htm

No booking required.

Thanks for featuring me, Joanna.