For Now, Unknowing
David Spittle

you are a child / you see the sky / it changes you

you see it change / you try to reach / the sky to feel

how it stays up / and the weight / of blue and maybe

child / is not as other but as another you

seeing the sky / it changes / you

see it change and you reach / changing / the sky

to be more than the adult imagining of the child, more than a purple handprint [splat-palm-vision shmooshed up on the fridge] crowned a cave-painting of the pre-jaded soul. o outsider! vitality dreamt in what we say we see as only, or partly only, what we wish to see and need to imagine exists somewhere; a then for ‘adults’ in ‘maturity’ now to vicariously, or in conduit, access, despite it being there now uninhibited by brickwork to bring play aimless into unending continuing, meeting-up or otherwise deliberating velcro-tennis at home with a graveside baptism attended primarily by orphaned ferrets and a rolling can of cider you might be calling a spade a detour shovelled or messiness a glow storm burrows catching-up like old friends growing ‘young’ underneath shared albums that might, dunno, register a glimpse of passing unplanned but, shit, it does suggest, as in a voiceover without voice but not over, and still, asking:

• how much do you know?
• how much do you think you know?
• how much do you think you ought to know?
• how much ought you to know about how you think?
• ought you to think about how you know how much?
• how is how much always the wrong question?

toddling me a magpie, sensory buffet of stone dream. collected, arranged, nesting, re-arranged, offering both the comfort of homely order and a more ranging wonder. chance of and as surprise. i know this because I have been told, i don’t think I actually remember it. i was three and four and five. smudged impression of blues and other pastel colours that join around these scenes. small hands grabbing out at smaller stones, reaching, closing and opening in the blue-grey of a twisting lane. white-grey of a large sky and dry browns and receding greens of the hedgerows. whether these are my memories or images conjured by being told of this through someone else’s memory, is unclear.

• how much of it was you?
• how much of you do you know?
• how much of knowing is you?
• how much of knowing you departs from you?
• does knowing permit or exclude how much of you there is?
• how is knowing now the currency of so much of you as you from you is split?

David Spittle is a poet, filmmaker, and essayist. His first full collection, All Particles and Waves was published by Black Herald Press (2020), following the pamphlet, B O X (HVTN, 2018). Spittle’s first short film, Light Noise, was funded and broadcast by the BBC – now available to watch on iPlayer. He has also written three operas and, in 2014, was commissioned by Bergen National Opera to write a song-cycle which has since been performed internationally. Interested in the intersection between film and poetry, Spittle runs an online interview series, ‘Light Glyphs’, with poets on film and filmmakers on poetry.  Spittle holds a Literature PhD on the poetry of John Ashbery and Surrealism. He continues independent research across Poetry, Film, and Noise. His films can be viewed on Vimeo.

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