This piece is about 3 printed pages long.
It is copyright © Ella Holcombe and Jacket magazine 2007.
The sharp hairs on the cliffs of eyes. A woman staring all lovelovelove at a possum made of heart skin. A woman with a face like a candle, smooth as wax. Boxes of faces (very small faces) and underneath the boxes, very small words. A red drip of paint (you’re breaking my heart). A man dancing with a wooden puppet.
What else? A strange square serpent, a wattle-tree-yellow splash of a town, a clown face spilling colour into colour, and a family leaving home, leaving along the branches of trees, three crows and a lantern of wire, a dress with holes and a tool for some digging, a skull covered in a road map, honeycomb sand, green glass up above the Berlin Wall, the rust of years and an empty room, a bowl filled with stars and a bowl filled with stones, a street with a lamp and a children’s party splash of paint.
And on the beach tall women stand with their breasts hanging down over the ocean while a man in sandals studies a large set of ribs. There is an eye hole here, and one over here. A small girl has moved out of her shadow and has fallen into a puddle. This doll has a pony of hair, flopped to one side. This bird is watching a fish. This man is also watching a fish. He is standing at the edge of the pond wanting to eat the fish. These women are Chinese and are sitting on the sand. These people have been swimming and are unable to come up the stairs because there is a dog with large horns at the top of the stairs. These children are from the Renaissance, they don’t know how to shout, they don’t know what to do with a yellow bird. This tree has had its arms cut off. This baby has just learned how to hunt for milk.
What else? Over here is a jewelry box filled with feathers and eggs. Over here is a man with a big loud face and rep-rope tie. Skulls lying around on a table next to a half-peeled orange. A sky so bright it’s lighting the earth on fire. Some eggs made from human eyes. An outback town with a very low sky and a skinny dog (there’s always a skinny dog).
Back over here. This woman has pointy boobs. This woman has none. This painting is a baby painting. This painting’s not even a painting. It’s all smudged and crooked. These rocks have been tied up with a string and are about to be barbequed. Over here some gifts are waiting to be unwrapped, one gift is the number 25 and one gift is a gold coin. This woman looks like a man. This man looks like a woman. This dog has half a face and is pointing a bow and arrow at the moon.
Ella Holcombe was born in Victoria, Australia, in 1982 and spent the first three years of her life in a caravan in Kinglake. She now lives in Brunswick, Melbourne, Australia. Her first collection of poems, welcome/no vacancy, was publishedby Five Islands Press in 2007.
The Internet address of this page is http://jacketmagazine.com/34/holcombe.shtml