FRAMING A POSTER
I took the poster bought on my recent trip to the framer and received an agreeable estimate for glass and wood to encase it. Then I picked up a few odd ingredients, fresh dill and canned beef consommé, at a nearby shop. Nostalgia for the trip surged up in me when I passed the cemetery where I had a chance encounter with the amply used phrase Sacred to the Memory of. Articles on archaeology and palaeontology have subsided for now in favour of an eternal return to the end of the world. The threads I have laid out here are harder to braid together into something durable. I seem to recall an old publication about the origins of language being found in music. How we are actually singing to make something clear, to make something strong.
I always wear the same simple tunic. I always pair it with the same PVC leggings. The tunic and the leggings slip through my letterbox and I slip them on. They always fit. I am shown the tunics and trousers all day and all night. That’s me there, I think. That’s me without a head wearing the tunic. My skin tone shifts. My hands on my hips de-age. No more baggy knuckles. On the other hand, near the castle they have found skeletons. Isotopic testing of the teeth shows a diversity of genetic origins and time spent abroad eating in Spain, North Africa, and so on. The milk teeth from the children show this best. The sea washed away the shore and these so-called bowl hole burials were held up as examples – bodies placed face down, bodies curled up on their sides, bodies supine on their backs. The meaning of these varied customs is a matter for debate. In a similar manner, it’s in doubt whether hair that accumulates in your drain should be put in the toilet and flushed away or tossed in the bin. Contact lenses should not be flushed. That much is clear.
THE OLD PLATTER
We were using one of my grandmother’s old platters at dinner last night. The green ceramic platter used on Sundays. We all know her story so I don’t need to elaborate here. I was instantly reminded of my nomadic clinging to places and people and the way that dishes are sadly the last thing you’d think of bringing along on a major move these days even though they did once feature in ship burials due to their symbolic and familial significance. The burials and hoards you find dotted around this country show this phenomenon very well. There’s money and armour, of course, and jewellery, but also textiles and shoes, very well-preserved. On top of all that is a huge platter with stamps showing it was made in the capital of distant empire. The platter was already a century old when buried. It reflects long-distance connections.
Kimberly Campanello’s most recent project is MOTHERBABYHOME, a 796-page poetry-object comprising conceptual and visual poetry on the St Mary’s Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, Co. Galway. New poems have appeared recently or are forthcoming in 3:AM’s Poem Brut series, Poem Atlas, The White Review, The London Magazine, Para•text, Tentacular, and Poetry Ireland. In 2019 she received a Markievicz Award from Ireland's Arts Council and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. In March 2020 she represented the UK in Munich at Klang Farben Text: Visual Poetry for the 21st Century, a festival inspired by the international concrete poetry movement of the 1950s and 60s. She is a 2020 resident artist at the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris and is Programme Leader for the BA English Literature with Creative Writing and a member of the Poetry Centre in the School of English at the University of Leeds. www.kimberlycampanello.com