Working with Fear

Stretching out my neck into
head’s balance to determine
the ideal identity I see
myself falling short of.
               Shoulder rolls:
to understand the quality
of the professional commitment,
working down into the sore
clump of a wrist, nerves
burnt-out by the keyboard.
               Glimpse into the vertebrae:
slightly hot with over-held
responsibility which suddenly
remembers to breathe, so that
               I can feel the diaphragm relax
as the exhale releases weight
in me. Finding another hot spot
               in the injured ankle, but
a heel linked back up
to the head’s crown.

What is it also of the
indignity – betrayal of a confidence
at work – that tautens in the
stomach, held in again – a tension
that becomes a cue into
              movement, lifting from knees
and cutting sideways, grasps,
               examines the feeling-
contour, being with it so that
              it can be re-experienced,
let go and re-incorporated,
               moving on in the improvisation:
staying still not an option with
               this kind of momentum.

               Other work done here too –
a kind of celebration opens of hours
dedicated to creativity, holding a
space for people to speak their
               truth aloud to one another.
Something happened there in the
               territory along the lower edge
of the ribs, the tiny xiphoid process
between them in front.
               It is thick, thickened by
language where it starts and stops,
transforms itself over and over again
              in this technology.

                                        Batch a splinter of traces
up as equivalent to raising an
ethical hand in angled
               conjecture – a proposition of
jointed alacrity to decide
               to spin a turn of events
ecologically in a space
               entangled with bodies in process.





[Scott Thurston is a poet, mover and educator working in Salford, UK. He has published twelve books and chapbooks of poetry, including three full-length collections with Shearsman: Hold (2006), Momentum (2008) and Internal Rhyme (2010). More recent work includes Reverses Heart’s Reassembly (Veer, 2011), Figure Detached Figure Impermanent (Oystercatcher, 2014) and Poems for the Dance (Aquifer, 2017). He edited The Salt Companion to Geraldine Monk (2007) and in 2011, Shearsman published his collection of four long interviews with the poets Karen Mac Cormack, Jennifer Moxley, Caroline Bergvall and Andrea Brady, called Talking Poetics. Scott is founding co-editor of open access Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry and co-organizer of the poetry reading series The Other Room in Manchester. Since 2004, he has been developing a poetics integrating dance and poetry and he is currently collaborating with the dancers Sarie Mairs Slee and Julia Griffin.]

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