Dark Angels Note 57
Welcome back to our writerly thoughts to distract, inspire and reassure you. And if you’d like more connection, join our weekly Zoom writer gathering on Tuesday evening. Next week we’re going on another virtual excursion to the Spongleheim Gallery (details below). You are very welcome to join us.
Be well, keep reading, keep writing and know that we’re always here..
Think of something that moves across water, sky or land. You might choose something from nature (like a cloud, a shark or sound waves) or something manufactured (like a drone, a submarine or a satellite). Once selected, write for 8 minutes from the point of view of the thing that’s moving. What does it see? What does it touch? How does it affect what exists around it?
I grew up on the border and though I left
I have brought it with me wherever I’ve gone.
Its line guides me, this long, winding thread of memory.
The border wasn’t as big as they say—
It fit neatly behind my eyes and between my ears—
It guides me still, I know, but it is not a compass.
It is not a place out there but a place in here.
I catch on its barbed wire in both places.
It is a line I step over and a ledge I duck under.
I have looked underneath its skirts, and it has caught me—
Many times. We’re old friends and we play the game well.
When someone says border, now, or frontera, or the line.
La línea, or the fence, or whatever else
We name the edge and the end of things—
I hear something missing in the words,
The what it all used to be. Its name does not include its childhood.
I grew up liking the border and its great scar,
Its drama always good for a story the way scars always are.
A scar is the place where the hurting used to be.
A scar the heroic signature of the healed.
The border is not a scar. Instead, it is something we keep picking at,
Something that has no name.
The border I knew was something with a history.
But this thing now, it is a stranger even to itself.
From Not go away is my name (2020), Copper Canyon Press
Next week the Tuesday gathering is a virtual excursion to The Spongleheim Gallery of outsider art. We’ll have a guest visit from the gallery’s chief curator, Dark Angels alumnus Steve Chapman, and we’ll write in response to the art in its latest show. Along with your normal writing tools, bring some sheets of A4 paper and something like a marker pen or crayon. There’s no need to register in advance. No drawing skills needed. And there’s no charge. Feel free to bring a friend along. 7pm UK time on Tuesday. Click here on the night.
From everyone at Dark Angels
Also published on Medium.