The Amazing World Of M C Escher
(Exhibition, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art)
3. Phosphorescent Sea (July 1933)
The sea is a staircase where the curved lower steps rise to the regularity
of altars to the stars where you could walk on the water, if you so chose,
put your hand to The Plough, and pull yourself into the eternal sky as a
constellation, previously unknown, with no say in which one you would be.
4. Still Life With Mirror (March 1934)
On the table a candle, erect and unlit, a perfume bottle, odourless, a
toothbrush, unused, in a glass, bone-dry, a comb, with all its teeth, and a
brush with no hair, and no sign it has ever known head, and this mirror,
reflecting the street outside and ignoring the stagnant within.
6. Day And Night (February 1938)
I am a bird (at least, I bear its shape) and I wear the colour, black, as I
fly across a landscape which is rather flat and bereft of space and time,
and behind me, escaping from the nothingness where we were both conceived, is an anti-bird, counter-cloaked in white, which, although it disputes the negative label, nevertheless finds it hard to deny there is not and has not ever been a whitebird (as far as we know), but, in any event, we are twins for destruction if we ever meet up in the flesh, so we flee together in the same directions at opposite poles apart because if we collide we return whence we came but this time into nothingness as a symbol of what we had been.
12. San Gimignano (February 1923)
When you think “medieval” is a term of abuse, or at best a patronising nod to the layers you build upon, consider these tower houses, caressing the sky, and think what your skyscrapers do.
Copyright © Roderick Manson 2015
On 29th August 2015, having written precisely three prose poems in his life, Roderick Manson decided that the exhibition “The Amazing World of M C Escher” at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art might prove fertile ground for more. Two and a half hours and twenty-four prose poems later, he decided it would be a good idea to stop.