The Tresspass Edition
Nothing as bombastic as Frank O’ Hara’s manifesto for Personism, but with a soft-hued version of his sentiment: “I’m not saying that I don’t have practically the most lofty ideas of anyone… but what difference does that make? They’re just ideas. The only good thing about it is that when I get lofty enough I’ve stopped thinking and that’s when refreshment arrives.” Not lofty, then, but awaiting refreshment. Nothing as cryptic as the group named from the term coined by Pound, Wyndham Lewis’ Vorticists – “Long Live the Vortex!” – they would “convert the King if possible. A VORTICIST KING! WHY NOT? DO YOU THINK LLOYD GEORGE HAS THE VORTEX IN HIM?”. We appreciate the vortex – a vortex of theory, perhaps, a matrix of temporal ambiguity. But we shan’t convert the Queen. Not interested. There is something, though, in these pursuits beyond loftiness, spiralling into a vortex, refreshed – as poet John Burnside ended his T.S. Eliot prize-winning collection Black Cat Bone, “ready for persuasion” (‘From The Chinese’). Virginia Woolf puts it most succinctly: “Let us tresspass at once. Literature is no one’s private ground; literature is common ground. It is not cut up into nations… Let us tresspass freely and fearlessly and find our way for ourselves.” NLP welcomes 2012 with this subtle sense of freedom to tresspass, of subversion, of commitment to persuasion and refreshment, and welcomes a trio of interesting new pieces.
Janette Ayachi, a poet who also works at the National Gallery in Edinburgh, enchanted us with her measured, explorative poetry. Her reworkings of classic paintings, with a sharply focused eye on the seemingly mundane, are undeniably the work of a powerful voice that is conscious of that which remains hidden: “I am the perverted picture viewer/ tuned in and turned on/ to the aesthetic beauty of visuals// distorting reality/ just so I can escape awhile/ in the shadow of the auditorium”. We are pleased to publish her first short collection for NLP, ‘A Medicine of Moments’. Various submitters have suggested ideas for travel articles, but we were pleased when academic Adrianne Finlay got in touch to share her lengthy, and deeply moving, foray into fear in Belize; she suggests that “by telling stories of our fear, and creating a narrative around those things that make us afraid, we defang the culprit” in her essay ‘Out of Fear’. Finally, Edinburgh-based photographer Nick Paton shares part of his project American Sign Language; Translate, If Only, I Love You, Silence, and 16mm Film (Untitled). This mesmerising project, ‘Nick Paton’s American Sign Language’, that marries language and photography, speaks for itself.