TRANSITIONS by David Briggs

in Authors & Books/Poetry

Leaving the gallery, you and I fell 

into typical mini-break chat — 

how we’d throw it all in tomorrow, 

and move here, to Penzance, 

live on our wits, write and paint 

looking out on Gwavas Lake.

I mentioned K., a poet I’d met 

a few times at readings in London, 

who’d just upped and left one day

for Penzance (or was it Falmouth?) 

some years back and might well 

be living here still.

Seconds after, 

who should appear on Victoria Place, 

typically fabulous, in starched denim 

with milk-white bracebuttons, 

rockabilly bouffant pinned at one side 

with a red rose hair-clip, but K. herself. 

As though I’d conjured her. 

K. for real, floating zephyr-like 

on Penzance air like Chagall’s Bella 

in The Bouquet by the Window

K. in the flesh, heading to Newlyn 

to run a workshop based 

on a show called Transitions.

So we followed her,

and what should I see on a trellis table 

but Eno’s Oblique Strategies

that occult series of prompts for artists, 

and we’re allowed to touch anything

so I cut the deck, and my card reads: 

Are there sections? 

Consider the transitions.

I would that I were

writing this from Penzance.

Since receiving an Eric Gregory Award in 2002, David Briggs has published three collections with Salt Publishing. The Method Men [2010] was shortlisted for the London Festival Poetry Prize, and Rain Rider [2013] was a winter selection of the Poetry Book Society. His third book — Cracked Skull Cinema [2019], a Poetry Wales Pick of the Year — has taken him on a reading tour ranging from a Festival of Death and Dying in Somerset to the Scottish Poetry Library in Edinburgh to the Suffolk coast for Poetry in Aldeburgh. His work has appeared in journals and anthologies from The Poetry Review to Identity Parade.

Jude Cowan Montague is an artist and broadcaster. She produces 'The News Agents' for Resonance FM, a weekly show experimenting with international story and the arts. She worked at Reuters Television News for many years as an archivist and this has informed her poetry and some of her art. She's an award winning printmaker and a composer. Her graphic memoir 'Love on the Isle of Dogs' is available from Central Books.

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