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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 7, Number 3, September 2013

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Patricia Prime
Te Atatu South, Auckland, New Zealand


The Toys of Unreason
(by Max Walter Svanburg)

blank canvas
in one corner
a spider’s web

Weaving a motley variation of a female form, which appears for an instant and then slips away, disguising itself with flesh adorned and braided with feathers, Svanburg’s woman is like a bird decked out in delirious finery which seems to be made of butterflies’ wings. In this painting all is turmoil, as the being glides under the impulse of an irresistible attraction, inspired by danger.

Her eye looms luminous, pupil blackened as she trains it on the distance, Fidgeting, she blows a bubble from her mouth, though I glimpse, inside it, a tiny presence against the smeared surface. She flirts with grainy shadows, her coiffured hair like seashells, and the black mass of her dense eyebrow almost Egyptian. I breathe and breathe again. Her cold, pale face floats skyward then wanes to black.

pale moon
through starless nights
your whisper

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