Axis Mundi: Long Live the Tree of Life
Prudence Gibson, Tessa Laird
Prisoner of Love
The blessing and curse of passionate intent fade. The horrors of slippery inter-genus beauty slide through time and against infinity. Loving Dick was no more than a ploy, a method of feminine extraction. Who frowned me this pig-face?
The Origin of Table Manners
Pairs of avocados droop, pendulous, for a fabulist alternative. The habits of the habitual can become the past effects of future causes. My cross-species hybrid ontology is no less relevant than yours, oh tree, oh three is always better than two!
The Taussig Tree
No patterned shirts will hide the definite article. So I can ride across the populated plains of chatter and see the structures of the parliamentary systems. This is not authority, only evil magic tricks. There’s nothing up her sleeve, only wilting trumpet blooms.
The Signifying Monkey
You see me, monkey, but the peaches sting my lips and stiffen my stomach. So you, so me, so them, so…nothing significant to see, except the work, the carpentry and the running motion. Pretzels are salty but often taste stale. My, those appendages are red.
Struggle Without End
Kaka beaks won’t hurt but toss the petals to the wind. Find your own place that pre-exists the city only to find the answers will baffle you even more. There is no utopia, the struggle is a friendly snail that won’t be rushed or tricked.
This one’s load is light. No didacticism or guiding systems to map. Could this mean the bats and silk floss are more than human? No they are all on the same register, descending rather than ascending. There will be rhizomic anarchy beneath the pedestal.
Abuses Against Nature
Move through the streets with guarded eyes, only to recognize everyone. You know that the burnt tree waits for you, so wonder and imagine first, before the flames reach your toes. The naturalist is an unnatural idealist but he, too, will suffer the six candles.
About the authors
Prudence Gibson is an art writer based in Sydney and a Teaching Fellow in Creative Writing at the University of New South Wales. She has published fiction in Antipodes, Eureka Street, Etchings Journal and Blood. She is author of the art book The Rapture of Death and has written over 200 essays and articles on art for publications such as Heat, The Australian, Vogue, Australian Art Collector, and Art Monthly.
Tessa Laird is an artist, writer, and sometime lecturer based in Auckland. In 2013 she exhibited The Politics of Ecstasy, a major installation of her ceramic works as part of Freedom Farmers: New Zealand Artists Growing Ideas at the Auckland Art Gallery. In 2014 she exhibited a collection of ceramic books in Slip Cast at the Dowse Museum. Her collected writings on colour, A Rainbow Reader, was published by Clouds in 2013. She is currently writing a book on bats.