White paste, skewed lips, hospital green
you have been drained of blood
your heart clenched tight around your throat
your hair is an oil slick, a shield, a shadow
the line down the centre of your face
jags left and right, dodging bullets
your ear is a walking cane
your shoulders an encampment
asteroids your eyes
“Comrades:” you write,
“At the beginning
it is impossible
fully to the causes of our
knew no bounds.
This disease is
creeping nearer and nearer to us.
A desire to deepen the foundations of the real.”
Part of Long Exposure’s ‘Looking Back’ project for National Poetry Day.
Bio: Mary Jacob is a poet and Surrealist practitioner whose work often spills across traditional boundaries – a poem may include song and movement when performed, a song may be wrapped up in a story, or an image may be created or found as an essential link to a piece of creative writing. She is currently holding a series of Surrealist Salons, evenings of participatory entertainment in which artists, musicians, poets, scientists and members of the general public play games and create collaborative art and non-art. She has been writing since the age of 13 and her poems have been published in magazines in the US and UK.
As context to this work, Mary tells us: ‘This poem is inspired by a speech by Breton in 1934, ‘What is Surrealism?’, and a portrait by Victor Brauner from the same year. Surrealism was originally developed as a response to his work with shell-shocked victims of World War I.’