Poem introduction

The next poem reflects on the relationship between body and the world - if you like, the border between the body and the world and it contains the word 'anti-bubble'. Now very simply an anti-bubble is the reverse of a normal bubble in that it's a drop of liquid surrounded by a skin of air and probably surrounded by liquid again so it might be underwater. You can make them if you pour beer skillfully enough.

Deft

Deft

I made a conscious decision in 1988 not to represent my body...It immediately declares female gender and I wanted to be more deft. (Helen Chadwick)

It's as easy to make an antibubble in your own kitchen
as it is to open up a crease in language
and reveal what you couldn't say yesterday.
Just a matter of squirting water onto water
without snapping the surface tension until liquid
surrounds a skin of air, surrounding liquid. My body's
a drop of water. Maybe the imperfections, the proliferating cells
help it refract the full spectrum. These last breaths,
air, water bubbling at my lips. The soap film is my skin:
permeable-for-some-things, membrane, separating-other-things,
this and that, the moving point between, the unsettled
limit, stretching and contracting under the breath
that comes and goes: I am this one, I am that one,
I breathe in and become everything I see.


Unpublished, used by permission of the author, copyright © Jo Shapcott 2006

Books & cds by Jo Shapcott