by Carolyn McGee
The Montreal Review, August 2010
Into the Darkness
My mind is like a subway ride
Barreling forward into the great depths
into my soul
Occasionally forcing myself back into reality
Arriving at Castle Frank,
Castle Frank station.
Lifting, gathering up bits of the world
each with their own minds,
And then, content that I have played the part for long enough,
I submerge myself back into the darkness.
Only faint lights lead me.
A vague direction--only intuition
tells me where I am
As I take the pieces
that people my mind
into the ropey channel of my thoughts
Each time knowing that
there will be light.
eventually, there will be another stop
another brief brush with reality
every time I'm in the dark
I can't avoid despair
--Even though I know, somewhere
the bright lights
imitating sun, happiness
will be there, with the flamboyantly dressed characters that board to be carried away,--
each darkness brings fear, and a plummet
following the twists
I have followed
for so long
I still get lost.
Maybe, after dozens, fortnights of stops
There will be light, (real light)
but only once we burst through these tunnels into open air
There will be light
Not the one created by sub par human hands
No longer the artificial happiness we have tried to impose.
This train will be going out of service.
Beeswax Vocal Chords
We sing, voices together
feeling the resonance with our blind sight
one that comes only with sweet harmony.
all traces of pretension
--the ill that rampantly plagues musicians
or held back
And yet, nothing else held back
not just not held back
but th r o w n f o r w a r d
Voices thrown with surging joy
into the fresh mountain air
to feel the resonance.
and that deep love, that joy
joins the sonic waves
bound in sweet union.
the union is one long told
The One of voice and love
--from romanticized images of the past
Oft forgotten and cast aside, that combination.
words go awry
waves lost, dematerialized in insincerity
lyrics broken into rubble
rubble into dust
when with bitterness; apathy; a disconnect
a man puts froth into song.
voices bound with love
driven by the force of sure-hearted antiphony
by the desire to pour our beautiful wax of soul
onto the cold linoleum floor
of lost ears.
in the seat in only the way
after a hard worked day
Perhaps a farmer
a lonely man
with one, lone cow
perhaps a tree planter
young and robust
and perfectly peculiar.
like roots into the ground,
having planted, and he himself planted
and secluded in this great clearing
say the vowel of my vicissitude
say the comfort
Sleeping in misery
This sleep is like no other
where dreams can eat your soul
and the dull, long prong of the devil's claw may pierce your heart.
roll in the grasses of his imagination
until the soft dew soaks your skin
before the thistles grow and curl around you
tightening their thorny grip
with each breath of respiration
Soon, that time will come
and you'll have o find another pastime
lest you go without grassy rambles for the rest of your days.
This sleep is just like another
Another that aint a sleep no more:
has morphed to a crystalline state
and bin' crunched between the teeth
of that tiger's gristly jaw.
Ink and Pen
Testing to see
whether this pen
whether this hand
sophisticated motor skillage
can break the skin of time
and let ink flow like blood
onto the curmudgeonly page,
who, after waiting too long
to feel the stroke of the letters
and let those letters pour into its poor soul
like they were
pouring out of the penholders soul.
Fast, feather this page,
tether this page feather of the quill of old
so as to wick away moisture
as if that ink
had forever been a part of that page
(as if anyone, everyone
would believe such sly claims)
So, find if the hand will move they way you'd like it to
see if it draws you out, old papyrus
from your withdrawn state
with its stroking
to sponge the dew of a fresh mind;
the slow breathing milk of an elder's wisdom
always in fine hand
however unintentionally so.
Battle of the Brows
I hear the far off rumbling of the train
And the mournful moans of the klesmyr violin
The air being forced through the tunnel
And the sweet reverberation of taut strings
crying out as the bow caresses
One sound feeding in to each ear
I'm put in the middle of a fight
The violin crying out for it all to stop
The speed to great
the air too objecting
The train growling with guttural heaves
the sound too sweet
the beauty out of place; purposeless
I mediate the battle with my separate ears
both drinking in
both pushing out
An ear may not make a sound
No air to manipulate
to knock around
But it can give the sounds a nudge
reject them as pitiful
rejoice in it as freeing.
Illustration: Iain Faulkner -(b.1972). Faulkner was born in Glasgow and is a graduate of the Glasgow School of Art.
"Faulkner's works often incorporate multiple mediums, including gold leaf, wax, pastel and collage, creating surfaces that are layered and complex. In technique, imagery and texture, his paintings convey a sense of timelessness, as well as a remembrance of times past."
Eleanor Ettinger Gallery
Iain Faulkner's paintings are about capturing calm and contemplative moments, intimate exchanges, solitude, sometimes melancholy, heightened in their resonance by the use of chiaroscuro. Faulkner's use of this technique gives a stark contrast between the light source and the often dark tonality found in his paintings. There is a stillness in the everyday themes which conveys a sense of inner reflection. This is accentuated by the formality of his young self-engrossed characters and emphasised by the light and shadows reinforcing their emotional detachment.
His works can be purchased at
Eleanor Ettinger Gallery (119 Spring St., Ground floor, New York, NY 10012, USA) and
Albemarle Gallerie (
49 Albemarle Street,
London W1S 4JR, U.K.