[cut-up postcard poetry]
[paper scissors glue]
[fictional piccolo creative]
I bought a stack of National Geographic at Southwell market from a man who sold old mirrors, and reworked frames, among other things – including, an accordion of pale spines: Nabokov, Orwell and Greene (clasped at each end in a heavy bronze palm); old slates of vinyl in brown paper sleeves; folded ordinance survey maps, collapsed into soft oblongs; a shoebox of postcards depicting a past, many threaded with loose blue laces of ink; ephemera and various sundries of diminishing interest, displayed on a bareboard trestle beneath a blue and white striped tarpaulin.
My face, caught at a surprising angle, and glimpses of other faces, and the brief world around them, flashed in a collection of different sized mirrors, turning on lengths of string tied to the crossbeam of the stall.
The middle finger of his left hand was stubbed to the knuckle and the tip of the ring finger missing where the nail would be. This was only apparent as he handed me change from a tobacco tin and, as such, only bears mentioning because such detail demands it.
They were the complete 1979 set, plus three issues from the years either side. An x of string crossed the bottom and was tied with a reef knot at the top. The string sank into my fingers as I walked back on the coast road to Penn Beacon.
Eventually, inevitably, I started to cut up the magazines, saving, in one box, images, and in another, words and lines.
The reassembly of meanings and reimagining of images makes this process a relative of the jigsaw. A jigsaw cousin.
NatGeo were using a mix bag of typefaces during this period: Baskerville for the italicised page numbers and Helvetica for the article titles. However, the uniform typeface used for the wide range article and essay topics – Fiedler Monogothic Condensed – allow the random nature of the poetry some dignity.
“A….a…a..a,” said The Fonts. “Sit on it!” *
The paper and the ink used back then also allows the images to be distressed and eroded with an eraser.