Creative Work: ‘sketch print’ by George Temple

Creative WorksThis week’s post comes to us from a wonderful young fellow all the way over the water in Jackson, Mississippi.  Inspired by ‘the process of creating a diamond,’ George Temple’s poem ‘sketch print’ is a wonderfully manic read that builds up without a breath and drops us at the end, wanting more.  


sketch print

it is october 2009 and I am the act of memory
a process crumbles detritus 100 miles below the crust
typical of my dreams the narratives cohere we walk
the brickstreets in old town and you tell me everything
is alright a tiny seed placed in a ceramic capsule
for months I wake to plain bobby pins and handwritten notes
at 1500°C blue flakes of graphite liquefy and reform on the surface
of the seed which is actually a small amber diamond when I move
in 2011 bobby pins are everywhere with the force of a mountain
between steel wedges sealed by hydraulic ram and lock-rings stop
sending me messages hydrogen selectively etches off
non-diamond carbon it’s hit or miss sometimes you don’t want
to be friends open the machine after four days
the ceramic layer is broken away with a hammer I drink plum vodka
on your birthday soak the inner metal casing in hydrochloric acid
for five hours
the most stable form

The beauty of this poem is the way it’s almost begging to be spit into a microphone before a crowd of espresso fiends.  Punctuation and stanzas be damned, each individual reader is beckoned to change its flow as they read it aloud and decide which bits to emphasize and like emotion, which to bury below.  

The Words, Pauses, Noises team would like to thank our outside contributors who have been gracing our pages over the last three weeks.  Next week we’ll return with poetry from this side of the pond. Until then…


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