Tag Archives: David Chorlton

Thirst

This is what thirst looks like: some rocks the Earth once forced out of itself to break a crumbling skyline and to bear millennia of weather; flashes of sunlight on stone shards lying between creosote and smoke trees; a century … Continue reading

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The Ultimate Distraction

A gunman stilled by indecision has a young boy in his sights and before we know the frame shifts                               to a different war with people crowded underground while the planes arrive ready to unload their bombs, and just when we’re … Continue reading

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Pilgrim

At the broad end of a beam of sunlight that warms the knotted hair trailing onto his back, a man dragging blankets behind him like robes walks along the street wearing nothing to place him in our century, rather the … Continue reading

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The Downtown Artspace Concert

After the helicopter had circled once and gone away during the Allegro non troppo the atmosphere was calm for the Brahms quartet until the man in the back row who had wandered in while the doors were open for the … Continue reading

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Afternoon Alarm

A car horn blocks away insists on sounding the alarm for reasons I can’t fathom from the beep beep or the voice that announces on the telephone Hello, my name is Julian, and refuses to say more when I ask … Continue reading

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Dismantling the Still Life

            Still Life by Giorgio Morandi, 1940 It is time to destroy the reality behind the illusion: to lift the jug from behind the bottle and return it to the shelf to become a jug again. The tilted bowl comes from … Continue reading

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The Pigeons

The pigeons fly from wire to grass and back, and when the hawk appears they flock into a wheel that turns around their portion of the sky before coming down again to peck the ground for what they alone know … Continue reading

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Drought Circus

            Afternoon Performance by Philip C. Curtis, 1974 The trapeze artist swings across a bright desert sky, the tightrope walker balances on heat, and acrobats on horseback stand upright as they circle a ring of dry sand set in isolated splendour … Continue reading

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The Voices

One man talks to the sidewalk, another to the clouds, and both are too loud. Complaints are in the air, from disobedient wives to the LAPD and foreclosures. Nobody is listening and everyone can hear. Someone on a concrete step … Continue reading

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A Last Goodbye

Goodbye paper scraps and the cans left behind after feeding the cat; goodbye empty pens and the notepads they skated across; goodbye to the wrappings of plastic and foil that contained the same food your grandmother picked from a garden … Continue reading

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The Afterlife of Trees

Everything looks the way it did after snow had fallen and a silence weighed upon each phantom limb. The shape of every fallen tree is etched into the atmosphere and when waxwings seek a branch, there is none they can … Continue reading

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Notes From the Edge of the Road

Mountains balance on a stream of light behind a dry expanse with winter’s grass and yucca stalks breaking through the bristling shadows where afternoon slopes gently into the first chill that comes to earth at sunset. * In the walnut … Continue reading

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Acorn Woodpecker

Red cap, clown face, pupil in a bullseye framed in black that flows along the wings and down its back, white that flashes when it flies, beak that beats a steady rhythm in the bark as it works to store … Continue reading

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The Frogs on the Mountain

At the edge of still water a leopard frog’s eyes crack the glassy reflection of trees leaning over the pond with a dark circle floating in each golden iris and green on the loose-fitting skin that follows the contour of … Continue reading

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Nogales, 1898

When the border was a street between two towns sharing a single name, there were no flags displayed, only shirts and blouses hung to dry on the Mexican side. On an afternoon too still to turn the windmills’ blades, a … Continue reading

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Late Saloon

A deep brown shine on polished wood frames the mirror behind the bar in which the men can see themselves become unfocussed as they rinse their smoke and laughter down with curses. A lamp’s waning light swings back and forth … Continue reading

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