from mast
          after Hemali Bhuta’s Speed Breakers (2012)

‘Matter is pitiful; form is terrible; in the sculptural work, negation is luminous and contingent.’
                                  —Lisa Robertson, ‘7.5 minute talk for Eva Hesse’ (2010)

‘But say you, surely there is nothing easier than to imagine trees…’
                                  —George Berkeley, A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge (1710)



about (her) disposition folded outwards
“without walls towards unseen walls, was a start. enclosed,
the body fits the space like drystone, each shift
in weight tests sites for adjacency, or closeness to
the body              leaning
the body              resting on              itself
parallel to vertical only of
trees, spirit level just off, o/w cube.

she, she, and she (and). the place of meeting the sloping ground,
where the fourth corner of the triangle is the wood queen,
and the prism is weather. waver: what is left after all stripped back:
suspended transmission across old future stock, cold hands,
optical fibres.

              break. white vinyl letters, dark green metal,
              hip height points “where it splits into two
              does not resemble upturned twig, large stone or
              fruiting body

asks the body in the space
to slow down, brings the body to slow down
in the space, in the space the body slows.
the body in the space has a certain number
of identifying characteristics, a tendency
towards certain kinds of looking
in and out of walls
              > the look was all-consuming, or like putting on a wig?
the trees wear their leaves pulled down just so at the crown, a parting
of foliage gifting the ground. it is still too early in the season
for them to truly shake in the wind.

              break. 11 sand casted aged / blackened bronze roots
              ranging from 17.7 inches – 47.2 inches in length
              (2012) count span since between fingers.
              rings for birthdays spun in leaf litter
              lasts longer than ellipse. to come full circle:
              decomposite turns out of sync re-
              turns only to snake around, or ladder drill.
              there are ways between trees

grown out of eponyms, mappings, crown shyness—
midsummer craquelure—drawn out from seed
will transmit obliquely and laterally in spite of
the park is not open at this hour. not of a piece,
the bodies frame the bodies’ gold leaf or
patinated trunk. these are matters of veins
and paths in the canopy, sap memory,
documented brackets, tarry spots.
the park is not open at this hour.

              break. the first in dull light, roots
              darker than trunks not quite colonnade.
              they rest, on top, catching eyes if a tree falls
              “not quite natural in the forest whose wood
              and no one as though they had just been
              “placed is there to hear or perhaps just
              the angle of the picture does it make
              “an intervention a sound?
              the second cut through w/ long shadows,
              shot other direction over the bank. shafts
              slant, grass encroaches, ground crisscrossed
              with twigs. she (the amateur) sketches amateurishly,
              pages flap in the (imagined) wind. graphite
              rubs off in layers on a surface cheaper
              more acidic than rain. an alternative to pulping
              would be to carve directly into the bark: beche,
              he wole rote in wete, in drie endure and
              the art of failing in healing amidst the sound
              the scaling could not see the wood for the trees.

              > the nature of the “opportunity was mentioned early
and entirely w/o any expectation of gratitude. the young woman (pictured)
wears a backpack—perhaps in the manner of a schoolgirl—as she walks
through the grounds loosely counting. ash, beech, pine, sycamore,
pedunculate oak.

in step she walks with the birds
the deafening birds the horns on the roads
she remembers she imagines in step
for growth in growing into itself. 
soil remembers creak of beechfall
on the mast. from a distance, before,
a woodpecker drumming, after, a band of snakes?
never known for their realism, the serpents shy
from that which resembles the deadly to them,
their tongues not sharp enough to switch.
axe, chisel, cast. pitch myths of singing
to modulate habitat: lightly shave bark
with a drawknife, watch for cambium,
leave to dry. the surface is prepared
to be etched in charcoal; the artistry
of snakekind a form of trickery that trips
off the tongue sooner than the dawn chorus.
away, offsite, the park is not open at this time.

              break. return in drought, third impression
              is relief after open pastures, proper to estate.
              snaked from oak hanging horizontal in the
              ha-ha’s “uninterrupted view, survey back
              to pollard broadly vertical at the foot
              of the bank. leafed through, the deeds
              have a wavy edge, margin mimicked
              in the walk back to “where the path
              splits in two, around a beech, upright
              and laced mycelic, submerged, still.
              the litmus test is hand to root,
              sole to soil where fibres will not
              bend. last of the set points weathered
              gold to steps whose spacing tends towards
              a gait more natural, artful, more at stake.

finding (her) feet across terrain, the sound of plastic-
ity can be isolated in the recording “the singing of birds
the supposed practising by a bird of its song in a quiet tone,
the production of subsong obsolete “by heart, or not.
the centres of gravity are adjusted to the gradient, compounded
root-hair by hypha, labyrinth by limb. tremoring
bodies             of ether              whose empty
is a seaming from under or overstoreys (either) /
come open come patent w/o breaks all with courtesy
geotropic aspect just laying the ground




[Katy Lewis Hood is a writer and PhD student researching Anthropocene poetics. She co-edits CUMULUS and amberflora, and her work has recently appeared in Gilded Dirt, Tentacular, FRONT HORSE, Plumwood Mountain, and MAI.]

Copyright © 2018 by Katy Lewis Hood, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.