Some New Growth at the Temple or Lobe, by Rosa van Hensbergen, is now available from Critical Documents for £4/€6/$9.
A string made function unchanges
by damp. It hears the train, but staid,
all knockerless. Tendrils aim at something,
gather meld. The red light losing it rinses out
pimps with wet art, renovating in staged
ridicule, to throw an ‘if’ post
hoc. Another stumped cough and pass on.
In sixteen seven-line stanzas, Rosa van Hensbergen’s Some New Growth at the Temple or Lobe records the author’s introduction to life in Yokohama, Japan, where she travelled on a Harper-Wood Studentship to research and practice the art of Butoh. The poem inhabits those memories of the city’s professional sex life that were bombed out by a recent surge of gentrification, whitewashed like the skin of a Butoh dancer. “Wounds raw | but invisible.” Austere and voluptuous, Some New Growth is a poem drained of persona. Contradiction whips its tail as a typo amidst linguistic exactitude, as select prescriptions of starvation amidst a surplus of food. Social phantoms are painted into life and ordered to perform their way into unlit dead-ends through a coded language both private and historical.
The author writes: “Some New Growth was composed in November 2011, in a Koganecho room of a metre by a metre. Its light was blinking red. At some point during composition, atmospheric pressure burst the bulb and turned the room into an installation. Red lights rinsed for Yokohama biennale. Dirts that got turned out that day breed themselves upon this sheet, in a Koganecho room squared twice over to sixteen stanzas.”
Some New Growth at the Temple or Lobe is Rosa van Hensbergen’s third book, following Inebriate Debris (Punch Press, 2011) and Buildings, a collaboration with John DeWitt (Tipped Press, 2012). Her poems have appeared in Snow, Hi Zero, Veer About, Half Circle, Anything, Anymore, Anywhere, and Friends.