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Vince Laws considers 'audacity' and makes another version of 'i am a poem'

...and one day in the future
at a university lecture
a lass will lift a languid limb
and ask, almost seductively
if you the poet, writing this now
really had the audacity
all those years ago
to write 'work as good as this
got me here

I want to make a visual representation of the poem audacity, above, to go in a gallery window. I’ve cut out postcard letters spelling audacity. I’m going to suspend audacity in front of a mirror so it looks like it’s hanging in the air.

Later… In my head, this piece looks audacious because the letters hang down a long way and are perfectly aligned and give the viewer black letters to the front and bright red reflections, but in reality the letters are likely to be slightly uneven in all directions. Both height and resting position seem important. I’ll do that tomorrow. Do I want to paint the front red too? Or paint them all black?

The question is, and I can’t answer it until I see it – is it a good representation of audacity…. I will see tomorrow…

Tomorrow… I’ve just come back from walking the dog and thinking about audacity. I’m not happy that text in front of a mirror conveys audacity. Instead, I’m going to put a pile of my poetry books in front of the burning I AM A POEM with one copy open at the page audacity appears on. Sorted.

Just that and hanging in the window there’s a love poem Avalanche…. so I’ll put a pile of Small Frayed Knot in the window, with one copy open at Avalanche…. Enough.

Posted by Colin Hambrook, 14 July 2010

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 20 July 2010

Vince Laws is a burning poem

I’m right in the middle of getting a window installation together and I thought I’d share part of it with you. I’m treating the whole gallery window as my canvas.

On the windowsill there will be a row of old poetry books. I have cut them into letters that spell, I AM A POEM. I used Ezra Pound for the I because he said, “Make it new!” – and I try to oblige. Other poets cut up include TS Eliot, Ted Hughes, ee cummings, blah blah blah.

I like the shapes the books have become, but it wasn’t enough. At first I planned to paint on trees and flowers, almost taking the piss out of poetry – but that’s not my intention at all. I know damaging books hurts some people, myself included, so I wanted the result to be worth it. I wanted the finished piece to work as a poem.

Flames. The burning of the books. It’s like a metaphor on a metaphor. It’s having your cake and eating it – you get to burn the books but watch them burn forever. I painted these flames yesterday and I’m very happy with how it looks. See what you think. Vince

Vince is one of the Norwich Dandies hanging at the Art Studio Gallery, Upper St Giles, Norwich – launch party on Tuesday 13 July from 6.30pm, all welcome, poetry in the street, beer and cake! Runs until 31 July 2010.

Posted by Colin Hambrook, 10 July 2010

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 10 July 2010