Stephen Robertson

Slanting Lines

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Sculpting the vortex

“We believe in no perfectability except our own.”

—From the Vorticist Manifesto, BLAST no.  1

Jacob’s Rock Drill pierces through the brain

and splits apart Edwardian disdain.

Man and drill are two, and now are one:

no perfectability except our own.

But Henri’s pieces rattle too and shake

our sense of part and whole, netsuke-like.

Bird and fish are two, and now are one:

no perfectability except our own.

In Pompidou relief is on the wall,

wrestling figures, clinched before a fall;

Lutteurs—they are two, and now are one:

no perfectability except our own.

In hard cast bronze all hardness now replaced,

the soft and sensuous flesh joins love’s embrace.

Mother and child are two, and now are one:

no perfectability except our own.

His senseless trenches death at twenty three

reminds us of so much we’ll never see.

Life and death are two, and now are one:

no perfectability except our own.