Tag Archives: animals

Matthew Herbert: The Politics of Othering

“I’ve completely failed here tonight if that’s what you think I’ve said about my work.” – Matthew Herbert, 23 January 2018

There were a lot of mixed messages emanating from the stage at last night’s “Matthew Herbert: The Politics of Listening” event at the British Library, but one thing was certain: Herbert does not like his work to be questioned.
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A breeze, not yet brumal
sprinkled across our fingers like the leaves of an unfinished book
as we stared at massing clouds:

wispy tortoises
fuzzy elephants
nebulous rabbits

the nearly imperceptible glissade of an impossible bestiary
backed by a soundtrack of airplanes, helicopters,
and psithurism.


The sun was rising
but our ears ignored cycles
of rise and fall, off and on;
the auricular is always there even when the luminous is not.


Beneath the trees, a curious scent of pepper
brushed against suppressed fire
as if the petioles of the forest’s offspring would spark
when we stepped on them;
they popped like
in any case.

Within waterless eddies of that frosty wind
they danced around our feet
in imperfect circles
begging us to join them
if only we would listen.

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