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Ian Davidson

The Body Con


And as if it was only the lifting
Or the sheer state of material
And as if it was only the wave formed
Or the sternum’s fold

Where the organs sit where the
Internal becomes entwined at the
Seat of emotion the peristaltic
Gesture of movement towards

The organic from
Half open air seeps into
The interior is
corrugated and the emotions

Bump towards language across the
Ridges in the brow towards
The furrowed teeth
The clenched aorta


Whatever I may feel inside whenever I feel cut off from
as if the word feel becomes another word or if the word feel
paired with the word feel lost its harmonic and the unpaired

Becomes the impaired as if one half has been removed and the
single hand flapping helplessly in the space left to itself

This is a full body scan apt to discover the slightest
imperfection in excess body hair or a muscle out of place

don’t do casual
don’t do glance

It was only a branch line a further frame of reference another
addition to the sum of human contact or the careful phrasing of
language left out cell touching cell and prisoners of desire your

breast beneath the single sheet I was moved imperceptibly as if
the friction of hands across skin and all the inner mechanics

Oxygen bubbling up in blood the lesser curvature of the
stomach the superior part of the duodenum the lesser moment
beneath the skin the fish hooks of the present, gift wrapped

and knotted with bows becomes a present from the past or the
anxiety of a disappearing future a matter of presentation or
oiled to perfection from the con to the conviction an issue of

Incapacity or the shrinking fear I add up the prose and cons watch
the grey surface of the water become turquoise behind pale pink of
cloud cover wipe the surface of the eye as if loneliness was

Meant to be you have created a surface that both attracts and repels
you have groomed yourself to the last tip of each strand of hair pulled
lashes from their origins and the heart still or the heart beats or the

Kidneys take a breather and the liver’s silent shudder as it squeezes
and filters out you adjust your diet according to your strength of feeling
I fought back the emotion scared that my organisation would barely

Cope or equanimity permanently threatened and breath
control become ungoverned you picked at crisps dis
carded the salad went for maximum calories as if your

Breasts might swell to their origins or your skinny frame regain its
given shape. You are cont. you go on and

maybe the consequence of many large branches from
straight line geometry or even the curves of calculus unable
to explain organs crossing apparently out of scale. I dismantled a

Body it was an imperfect fit according
to the laws of sexual activity they began to reflect

mirror mirror
that’s an order

When sliced across the middle she writhes and the hairs on her
face began to glow and her tongue could
simply twitch I mean he demonstrated

By means of colour photography that a mixmaster can cause considerable
confusion if applied incorrectly or simply to the wrong body part and
then in their sickness or emotion or sex or the recognition of the love con.

It is a question of scale, scales falling from the eyes until in the
enormity of the imprinted word cutting across the organism like a
stick of rock the arrangement becomes tortuous and twisted

2. Where Ideas Come From

Shaking hair again and creating desire from nowhere and
looking up with the light behind said where do ideas come from
and I indicated the area around my line of vision and spread open

My hands tore down the curtains until out into the night sky there
was everything laid bare and she looked at me again and I began to get
ideas and their shapes were like things that could not be named but I

Began to name them. I stared hard at the top left hand corner under which
all who pass
will love and love again and I disappeared and the ideas came as if

From asking why too many times until the question became so familiar
that the unmarked underside turns to face the sun or the clear skin is
transparent as if the fabric of existence was torn in many places

and think
where do ideas

Come from as a limb wormed its way past or a cure for the present the ribbons
and bows from the waist skin stretched across stomach muscles which
was where ideas came from or the empty head that twitches towards the

Text message nothing going down or coming up I’ll contact someone so
that’s where ideas come from an abbreviated text or a Glasgow kiss c u
Jimmy an idea in the world might be from the heart or a baby’s

Body split down the centre through an abrasion of the ear via interference
how the screen divided and the one and the other or the synchronic shifting of
affection nor the first nor the last and when a body leaves a body turning

A fresh page then the insides rustle there’s a readjustment of the digestive
system an acceptance of food the slow torture of the worm turning more
definition less breath the medium becomes porous as in streaming the

Loss of moisture from the inside out she held up her
skin he folded back said that’s

Where ideas come from or he stroked the surface and said
here is an idea the sound of milk being loaded or the early
call I’ve no idea where ideas come from maybe the morning light

Ian Davidson

Ian Davidson

Ian Davidson has recently published work with Shearsman, West House Books and Spectacular Diseases. These poems will be part of his next collection, As if Only, forthcoming from Shearsman in late 2006. A critical book, Ideas of Space in Contemporary Poetry, is in preparation for Palgrave MacMillan. He lives in north Wales, Europe, and teaches literature and writing at the University of Wales, Bangor. The Coda section of this poem first appeared in a slightly different form in the Onsets anthology, published by The Gig, Canada.

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