vídeo:Marie Cravenpoema:Sarah Sloat
Searching for a word I set off
browsing the dictionary illustrations,
pages flush with fish
and obscure instruments and myriad
breeds of duck, which, colorless,
end up looking much the same.
These artists don’t dawdle
amongst the obvious; they illuminate
the oriel window; they trace
the lobate foot of the grebe.
The reindeer appears tame and boxy
on paper, gigantic antlers bearing
the weight of reincarnation.
On page 1291, drawings disambiguate
the difference between paly
and paly-bendy, two patterns of heraldry:
think roadblock versus barbershop, TV
off-air image versus LSD.
They don’t do verbs in dictionary pictures,
so for zip here’s an inch-wide depiction
of two men intent on fencing.
In one two-page arrangement,
the seahorse floats peacefully beyond
the reach of the scythe. Pen-and-ink
sketches break the columns up
like little windows opening
from one side of the brain
to the other. Tiptoe through, and pay
attention to the shapes of leaves,
which can be hard to describe.
- Sarah Sloat