Leonie Mhari: An unravelling, a grounding, an assemblage

An unravelling, a grounding, an assemblage

This is an unravelling. I am complicit. Revel. Is this my unravelling? Revel after complicit revel. This is to be a grounding grounding. Falling. In suspension. In turn. U-turn. Torque. Torsion. Twist. Contortion. Headlong. Head first. Head over, heart over heels into ground, grind, same old meteorite, same old star. Filter photons. Brand new light. White dwarf. Red giant. White giant. Bending eyes, turning necks towards black skies. Straight lines of past acts. Surely there is energy there. [laughter] Red thread reality bind me up with energy, never let me go, take me home to clouds of cosmic dust. Sulphuric lungs and a heart of lead. Lead. Dig deep. Quarried supernova. Bleeding gold asteroid. Bleeding gold asteroids. An unravelling! Ah! I had it. Painted body. [text message received] I have it. Had it all! Fill me in, make it your own. Tweaked aura. Gold. -ral -ral -ral -ral. Listleinsten. You have a heart of gold, and I would paint the town red with you, if you would only ask. But there wasn’t time, the train shot into Cassis. This is the story of the metal. Dash the dark. Dash the dark! Is this intimacy? Walk me… Without you there is only red thread. Cosmic dust. Lead. Ffoollllooww. Led! Follow! Follow! Lead! Follow! Follow. Follow. Led. Lead. Follow. Lead, led. Follow, lead. Follow, lead? Lead follow led? Lead or follow, led? Led, easily led. Led. Always led, always fol- no… Dust. Panning… panning cosmic dust for silicates. Red thread for silicates. You are cosmic, you are totally cosmic. This is your exterior. Is this your interior? Creating a kindness. Open into being. You are the only one to hold on to the string …which is a good thing [laughter]. This is so full, so vastly full. Full, empty. Such an empty place, such an empty place, such an empty place, such an empty place, such an empty place, such an empty place, such an empty place. Sine tu, sine non qua, qualecumque. Whatever, matter is here. Whatever matters is here. Your past has been so bright you can see it. Here. The past is up? The future. The future is up? Is up! There is no light in the future yet. Not just yet. Do you feel an affinity with your future? Do you feel an affinity with your past? I wish the future didn’t seem quite so sad. I think it just needs a bit more noise. It has noise. You say that. Always. [laughter] Ahm red. Insignificant, so very insignificant. They each hold part of a better reality. Together. The reality they make is exactly the reality I want in a reality. Together. Years are remembered in light. How much of this has unravelled? A lot of it’s unravelled. Uhm. We have unravelled. We have unravelled. [laughter] It is only red thread. You’re a star! You’re a gem. You’re a diamond. You’re years are remembered in bright. It is only red thread, I suppose. With you pulling it, running your fingers along it, bending, and stretching to move through it, it is real and I can have my red thread landscape, my read thread landscape. THIS IS A WIND UP. [laughter] The only way out is in. Cyborgs are not reverent, they do not remember the cosmos. It is a frost moon, the city is made up of pink. And where will she go? And where will we go? Where will we go? To the Earth. Stand close to the Earth. There has been an incident. Watch for the sun rising, bringing new colours to her bright pale body. This is an occurrence. And it is bleak, so bleak. Oh, it’s anything but incidental. You’re anything but incidental. [laughter] Is this affinity? This is iron, and lead, and silicates. Certainly there is energy there. Here. Yeah, here. This is earth, and ground, and air, and lungs, and hands, and breathing, and touching, and touching. This is red clay, limestone, silicates, so many silicates, bodies, so many bodies. So many bodies. I think this has been a test. Should we resume? This is a test. [laughter] This is not a drill. This… is not a drill. There is no drilling. Here. There is no drilling here. Now. Here, now. Here… now. Here. Emptiness. Emptiness — this is an absence. This is an absence.


Leonie is a poet and landscape designer whose interests in the performativity of humans and non-humans often informs her writing and design practices. In 2016 she completed a PhD in Scottish toponymy. Her poetry has been published in the Dangerous Women Project, Gutter, Raum, and Dactyl, and she won the Alastair Buchan Prize in 2015.

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