‘Here I Am’

Rupert Loydell is Senior Lecturer in English with Creative Writing at Falmouth University, the editor of Stride magazine, and a contributing editor to international times. He is the author of many collections of poetry, including Dear Mary, The Return of the Man Who Has Everything, Wildlife and Ballads of the Alone, and Encouraging Signs, a book of essays, articles and interviews, all published by Shearsman Books. He edited Smartarse and co-edited Yesterday’s Music Today for Knives Forks & Spoons Press, From Hepworth’s Garden Out: poems about painters and St. Ives for Shearsman Books, and Troubles Swapped for Something Fresh, an anthology of manifestos and unmanifestos, for Salt.

William Kentridge,
Whitechapel Gallery, Nov 2016

pianola roll shadows
   useless machines
      parades & propaganda

silhouette carnival
   the broken & dispossessed
   surround us

wrecked possessions
bury walls of refugees
   he fled his fate'

   gospel songs
       distorted time

black hole   black culture
    bullhorns   foghorns   loudspeakers
    echoing and distracting

the arrow of time stops
    South African history lessons
    overcoming obstacles

cycles of resistance
   black & white paper man's
   folded-up problems

carry the weight of the world
enabling others to walk
    self-conscious colonisation

polka perfection
   traces of ourselves

other stories
   puppet state stories
      stories already told

surrounded by stories
   macabre squeezebox
      trying on hats for size

ill-fitting suits
in languages we don't understand
   light/dark   black/white

an accusation of the past
   knots of light and time
     the mechanics of racism

hygienic time
   piped time
      relentless time

scrambled stories
      several screens

dislocated time
   contemporaneous time
      co-existent time

dawn of destruction
   dance of celebration
      an accumulation of time

event horizons
    morse memory
      lost messages


   trace markers
      pianola roll shadows

“Let us see where we are.
Both receiving all the projections
that come toward us, listening, a
receiving station, scanning the earth
for reports of the world,
bombarded by particles of
information we cannot escape. And
transmitting, projecting,
broadcasting ourselves continually.
Here I am.
                     HERE I AM.
                                           Here I am.”

— William Kentridge, Six Drawing Lessons

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