GREY CLOUD & YELLOW DROOP
by artist SARAH SLAPPEY
Stabbed in the arm with a compass.
Stabbed in the side. Ink
everywhere. Ink in her mouth.
Saint Sebastien of St Ives, holy
on the supermarket roof
She’s seen Some Like it Hot maybe twenty times.
A hard kernel of a soul,
she practises softness.
Pouted baby-mouth in the mirror:
Stormy, sticky with flies,
nettles brushing her ankles,
picks a doc leaf, rubs
He wants to show her something
by the metal farm gate.
She, nodding, surveys it from a distance,
mentally files it under:
The ground is dirty with dirt. The air, dirty
with smoke; she, clean as a whistle, hops over the stile.
Below is the town, crammed in
against the yellow beaches
While she wrestled him on the hill,
the badgers, the horses, the sheep
worked away, shovelling
When he cried, the wind whisked his tears away
She has the overwhelming urge to jam
her tongue into a plug socket,
swing an axe
at her legs, swim out, out, out,
For now there’s nothing to do
but finger one another
For now there’s nothing
to do but walk
together in the brilliant air, pick up lumps
from a freshly tilled field
GREY CLOUD and YELLOW DROOP (oil on canvas) featured in the exhibition Dark Spring at Sargent’s Daughters in New York in Spring 2019:
‘Life is unbearable without tragedy’ –Unica Züm
ELLA FREARS poet
Ella Frears is a poet and visual artist based in London. She’s had work published in the LRB, Ambit, Poetry London, and currently has poems on show at Tate St Ives. Her first collection is Shine, Darling (Offord Road Books 2020).
SARAH SLAPPEY artist
Sarah Slappey (b. 1984, Columbia, South Carolina) is a painter based in Brooklyn. Slappey graduated from Wake Forest University in 2006 and completed her MFA from Hunter College in 2016. In 2015, she was awarded a Kossak Painting Grant and a Hunter MFA award in Painting. Slappey has exhibited at Crush Curatorial, New York, NY; START Gallery, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC and George Gallery, Brooklyn, NY.
Image credits: courtesy the artist and Sargent’s Daughters, NY. Photograph by Nicholas Knight.