Mark Cunningham




Not a blink, which I don't see since my mind switches off my eyes. And a blink repeats. Not blindness. Borges said that when he went blind, he became an insomniac: he used to sleep in total darkness and now there was too much light under his eyelids. Or the grave, where you hone white. The opposite of memento mori. No gloss. The umbilical cord, but not in the womb: the nub three days after.



I read that most people think of their bodies as if they had a black outline surrounding them, a border holding them distinct from their environment, like the outline you see around bodies in the early days of special effect filming. (But an egg needs sperm, flesh skeleton.) Dan Flavin designed a space lit by green fluorescent tubes. As you look, the tubes wash out to white. (This provokes desire or fear, but never a feeling of completeness.) My black outline, my night-dream border: I'm not lulled. At any moment, it could be re-drawn in chalk.




Mark Cunningham's poems have appeared in recent issues of Alice Blue, Dusie, and Elimae.  He has two chapbooks, one on the Mudlark site (2002) and one on the Right Hand Pointing site (2006).  Tarpaulin Sky Press will be bringing out a book tentatively titled Body Langauge, which will be a sort of diptych containing two separate collections, one titled Body (on parts of the body) and one titled Primer (on numbers and letters).