Title: Sport 43: 2015

Editor: Fergus Barrowman

Publication details: Fergus Barrowman, 2015, Wellington

Part of: Sport

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Sport 43: 2015

Anna Livesey

page 176

Anna Livesey

Observational Drawing

I keep seeing people wearing faces like masks. I don’t mean, wearing their faces as if their faces were masks, I mean, their faces, stuck right on to the front of their head, are shaped like masks, over-determined signifiers signaling an audience in the gods, or squinting by firelight. The fool, the lover, the buck-toothed bulging-browed girl, the squat lips of flexible recombination gone wrong. This is what sex does when it fucks up, what we see when we look for figurines, for characters.

Last night we sat mostly naked in the public spa and one of them stepped in, squatted, rubbed his belly, cupped his hands and drank the water. The hinge of his jaw worked. His tongue curled and sucked at his cupped hand, siphoning into himself the fluid we were boiling in. It was intimate and disgusting. There was no way to care about it, not even to look at him.

Sometimes I wonder, can the world teach me to draw? Must I work at it or can I do it by observation? Do I need special tools?

page 177

A book is a way of tidying the mind

I’ve had thoughts these last days and not known where to file them. Evenings the crevices of the brain release like coral bleaching. The weather shifts warmer and the heavy duvet sweats it out of us. Iron, not entering, but messier, a slurry carrying not the future but a culture of misbegotten cells. For some time I’ve not thought of myself as a writer—hell, these days I’ve sent my library to the country where it gathers moisture, each page riffling with the stickiness of disrespect. Still, ego resists the notion of ‘over’. I wake and sleep. The baby moves in his cot like a crab.