GARETH EVANS

Updated: Jun 22



Nominal


To live at all is miracle enough. The doom of nations is another thing. Here in my hammering blood-pulse is my proof.

- Mervyn Peake*


A rasping cough; a scythe through long slow meadow grasses, dry.

We thought a stone

come from the windless

dark

a slingshot from the old

strung stars

to shake us

to the bone

and we were wrong

it was a low slung

smaller silence

close

through the streets

a scattering of spores

to shake us

in the lung

now the empty places

of the earth

are here

the desert of the squares

the tenantless piazzas

arcades of the air

and we elsewhere

in our

distant

lair

quite alone

as the stone

still roaring

open mouthed

towards us

through the spaces

between worlds...

Forms of understanding make themselves familiar to us in the certain lights. Doubt persists - blue kernel in the flame, there even, most, at the heart; the soft pelt of evening shadows; the glare where all the usual forms of sight bow down - but we know now that the most persistent virus enters through the eyes / / as abused image with all its hard intention. A strange way to live, what we have now, what we endured for too long, what we might expect in time to come. Make matter speak, speak of things that matter, and we learn what we learn.

To þe ymage of god he made hym**

When I stepped in from the balcony of sun I could see nothing for a moment or a longer moment. The universe lands differently, by hour and by surface, in particle and wave. Partly this is a quality of air. Heat on the shoulder is a bird of warmth alighting. It reddens the ear as it whispers there. Meanwhile, she undresses constantly into the morning and I try to follow. Impatient in primary glare, I am restless equally in its later gleaming. The muezzin call is broadcast from the tower by the tracks and it sounds like the day's temperature would if it could speak. Indelible scenes: sand drifts against the tiled walls, the rails blown beneath dunes that never sleep. This of course in the period before the waves: an era, a steady accounting, unavoidable as age. Butterfly durations all of it: remember, we are hurtling through space, while the longest creature swims in its own cosmos - southern azure - string enacting its translucent occupation at great depth far from us, and skies.

I'll give you 21 / 21 / 21

Always about the taking in it is. Too tight a hold will choke the all, and us, come far too soon. Still, now, again and once or twice, I find a tender gesture on the public green, weigh it in the scales; it is not found wanting. Unsure what to call it, even if it fits inside a name, or by any measure clearly can be read, I nest it gently, in a dappled corner; watch it cautious, hope that it will take.

*Mervyn Peake, from To Live Is Miracle Enough

**from Genesis 1.27, Wycliffite Bible, early version, 1382





Gareth Evans is a London-based writer, editor, film and event producer and Whitechapel Gallery’s Adjunct Moving Image Curator.  He hosts the LRB Screen at Home programme. He has curated for Forum of the Future Porto, Estuary, Whitstable Biennale, Flipside and First Light Festivals, and is co-curator of the Swedenborg Film Festival. He produced the essay film Patience (After Sebald) by Grant Gee and has executive-producedErase and Forget (Andrea Luka Zimmerman), World Without End (Jem Cohen); Unseen (Dryden Goodwin); By Our Selves (Andrew Kotting) and In Time: an Archive Life (Lasse Johansson).  He has conceived and curated numerous film and event seasons across the UK including Utopia 2016 (Somerset House), Place (Aldeburgh Music), ‘John Berger: Here Is Where We Meet’, ‘All Power to the Imagination! 1968 & its Legacies’, and the first series devoted to Armenian cinema, Gypsy films, J.G.Ballard and Paul Celan. Heedited the international moving image magazine Vertigo and nowco-edits for House Sparrow Press, publishing original titles by John Berger and Anne Michaels. He has written numerous catalogue essays and articles on artists' moving image. He is Chair of the Longplayer Trust.

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