Dear We Have Been

Anthony Autumn responds to 'Barricadia' by Sahej Rahal at CCA, 16 September - 29 October

Adapted image, Antony Autumn 2017

Adapted image, Antony Autumn 2017



unbounded traipsing

forever beyond this

there is nothing

but the contours of

the better place that

underlies the formless

universe of contingency

made our conversation soft


glaze of moonlight


on human skeletal lengths 

an ox’s head lolling tongue

was the beginning we are

but among the verbs

many more seem

to remember listening

the shadows did not forget

to say to the others

that once and at once


ever loved them look


eyes veiled our feet change

in shape march growth

slowly and reconfigurement

left in writing gutters

two-step toying meaning

morning might be

a little hectic tempered

prodigies and fictions enable

us to lose us


for moments collapse together


in ancient fires find joy

each individual imagination

in dire times making

history fake artefacts

a globe composed

of two conjoined halves

ostriches conjure pop-culture

and collect missile

parts for playthings


are the fictions omnipresent


dear we this world

is ovular we know

now ego exploited

existing weakness is a

monstrous idea needing

tools anachronisms we

fear we find weapons

in caves the recessed

walls warp what we project


absolute satisfaction of passion


health and adventure the

word fugue written

in milk the only inhabitants

are poor gods their patchwork

garments the tropes we

wondered should we steal

we are in need remembering

value these little bits

of everything remain


impartial the landscape these days


undoing shame and

the poets and inventors

of fables make laughter

life children respond

some awe an act no

longer an act our

worlds misread interpretation

open hopes change

direction strengthens


altar snapshot perspective repeating


our misplaced prophecies

funny thought this body

noting nothing by day glare

through absurdist lenses

critique us all shaman

clay moulds shapeless

being the end impatient

with limits we think

a saint vanished


traceless as that which is language


out there becoming

unapproachable stuff sandy

deserts the dead tree

gives no shelter it all

drops into place myth

seeds a new vision

of huge objects on

the horizon flickers

light like an epistle


redacted to fit the times dear


we are always different

in our ways of being

read and we are here

and now wandering aimlessly

and at large with agility

and evolution on our side

and even with each other

and with love

there is no credit


or certainty any further


Commissioned as part of Objects I Have Been - a reviews season in the ekphrastic mode

Anthony Autumn is an artist whose varying practice centres on writing. Previously a dedicated performance poet and editor-at-large of HOAX publication, Anthony currently programmes and runs art and creative writing workshops and contributes written and spoken work to publications, exhibitions and events.