David Greenslade writes in Welsh and English and has over twenty books in print. He won the Planet (Internationalist Magazine) Essay of the Year Competition for 2009. In May 2009 he published Zeus Amoeba with Two Rivers Press. He has received bursaries and scholarships from the British Council, The Wales Arts Council and the Welsh Academy of Literature. He currently teaches at University of Wales Institute, Cardiff and as a collaborator with artists in others art forms he regularly appears on Welsh radio and television discussing his travels and projects. He has lived and taught for extended periods of time in Japan, the USA and the Middle East. His book 'Each Broken Object' will be the subject of an essay study in the forthcoming issue of Angel Exhaust (UK).
I exhibit regularly and am a member of the Welsh Academy of Letters. I am a collaborative worker and the drawings for my writing here are by Carolina Vasquez (Florida)
Things (I can’t bring myself to call them items) in a woman’s closet multiply by parthenogenesis. They don’t need a sperm donor. Handy little boxes, greetings cards that go out of fashion before they’re sent, belts, underwear, sunglasses, paper flowers, photographs, wrapping paper, picture frames, handbags, scarves, shoes. The environment has to be favorably nurtured by a steady (it needn’t be excessive) stream of money and also by a flow of aimless chatter whereby things get mentioned often enough and then forgotten so that they self-fertilize and hatch into more. A woman turns around and exclaims how surprised she is that her wonderful clutter, her closet objects have increased in number all by themselves. As fast as she gives them away, throws them out, carries them in bags to recycle centres or donates them to charity shops her things don’t get any fewer. If anything, there are more! When the closet has been ‘emptied’ it is still as full as the comb of a deeply contented honeybee. She feels ready to refill the hive to bursting point.
Four glum circles topped by triangles rest on a horizontal line. One of them has to utter a single word in order to save the lives of all four. Dots and smaller triangles show how they feel about the state they’re in. A stronger vertical line separates one circle from its comrades. One of them has to speak but not one of them even has a mouth. If no one says anything then after five minutes their heads will be kicked into the net and their distinguishing features scattered on the battlefield like chicken bones. They have to identify the color of their hats. It’s a cruel puzzle and the one who set the question is putting on executioner’s football boots. They don’t even have labels. They know themselves as ‘I’ but we refer to them by ‘this one’, ‘that one’ or possibly a numeral. This makes it easier to watch when they get the boot and we fail the injustice of their conundrum.
Embraced by a swoop of dots, a barbless arrow with a notched stern loses part of itself to a white yang of gathered holes. Yin counterparts cluster to the wake of an impetuous crescent cutting the arrow just where its stem strobes. Both shapes are entirely self-possessed even as the crescent (black, sieved white) takes part of the arrow sheer nowhere. Wake dots fractal speck just emphasise a push into arrow’s solid stem. Their dehiscent burst teases the sensuality of crescent fresh into tumescent pride. Both are swollen and all are unambiguous. That white those black dots confirm as chaos weaken where black receives what white dots do. And so the influence of swoops on points is simply dancing, simply tingle tango, simply boomerang throw-stick hunting and the point of it not a bit distracted. Whites get on with eating yet drop black spore from the impact of their clash.
Here we see a detached human hand mistaking the single denture of a Short Life Inlet (SLI) for a denture of its own. The customary arrow waits nearby but a little distance off. The hand which appears to have a firm grip on the tooth brush but no grasp at all of the denture, has so far removed all discoloration from the top ring of the artificial tooth (lug) and will in due course proceed to the outer cylindrical surface and inner service cavity. Only when it tries to insert this SLI denture into its own mouth (not shown) will the hand discover that it has made a mistake. The arrow reminds us that this is a common trap for hands and that many humans need to be shown to use the other hand so that both hands are involved in the working process or Regular Samson Action (RSA). The common expression two hands are better than one hardly applies to cleaning teeth but the step from teeth to dentures is not enormous and in any case when it is the wrong denture the Samson or student must surely endeavor to take precautions. The amount of energy wasted in recent times cleaning the lugs of obsolete machinery is affecting Optimum Maxillary Action. Bright hands need to be encouraged to participate in discrete individual tooth lug brilliance otherwise arrows of this particular sort will continue to mislead in this up and up anyway.