Featured Poet: Linda Black
Eyewear welcomes, this freezing and snowy British day, Linda Black, pictured, who was last featured here in 2007. Black is a poet and a visual artist. In 2006 she won the New Writing Ventures Poetry Award. The beating of wings (Hearing Eye, 2006) was a PBS Pamphlet Choice. She received an Arts Council writer’s award in 2007 and a collection of prose poems, Inventory, was published by Shearsman in 2008. Her second collection, Root, is forthcoming from Shearsman next year. She is co-editor of Long Poem Magazine.
It’s years since she’s been and it hasn’t changed a bit: A fire warms from a recess cut into the wall, burns slow and glowing. Here is a different clutter; walls papered with pictures (look – there’s one of hers) surfaces laden with books. On the counter tentatively delineating kitchen from ‘living’ space, as though there’s no place else sits a family of carvings, like miniature Henry Moore’s, grand in conception, small in stature; over-large fruit, segmented, ready to be relieved of each inedible portion. Here dwells, she thinks, a thinking mind, not one to be bothered by the travails of housekeeping. The air is smoky from fire and tobacco. Amongst the paraphernalia – ashtray, coffee cups, newspapers – lies a grand ‘neglected’ tome of Italian proportions. A large bulldog clip is clamped ceremoniously over half the pages.
(The man next to her is reading a poem. She is sufficiently close (seated) to notice he reads backwards, starting at the last line and finishing at the first. Such originality, she comments. Turns out, he’s a bit of an inventor – some sort of electrical device consisting of tangled wires and a very large bulldog clip – a newcomer, not yet established in …. I’m just popping over to the electrical shop says she to buy a light bulb (low voltage) excusing her sudden departure, and here he is again making connections, taking the liberty of testing out his contraption, which entails crawling on all fours. Feeling the need to vouch for his credentials, she approaches the owner of the shop pointing out the prototype on the floor, beginning to explain, with no knowledge whatsoever, exactly how it works.)