back to From Here »


Poems by Zoë Skoulding

Images by Simonetta Moro

Ypolita Press

for the 2008 Dusie Chapbook Kollectiv December 21, 2008



what I can hold in the eye breaks

at the edges a cluster of paths a zebra

crossing to the other side of the road side walks becoming pavements that shadow

pulled across continents the signs point

in all directions at once down

there in the windblown circumference

of light you carry history from a

to b in planetary drifts across a lens


you walk at the edge of land traffic turning in swathes of sea

that I can’t hear from up

here where the glass holds me in place so that I can’t fall into violet pools under your feet or out into flightpaths where the sky a sudden mass of cloud holds

steady you could fall up into it



a perforated surface opens down

another where a corridor streams

on every hair every sparrow every back to the eye in red the days

shadow falling in parabolas

marked out in verticals while

every word every world is its own absent bodies pulse in shapes

hidden footfall crosses light

they passed through at the edge of

the ground aslant where

colour in the corner of an eye

walkers sleep along the lines of descending walls run into

habit scored in ink barely

thoughts replaced by moving images

reading the grid one instant to

walk this way and I disappear


in years of hours and hours of years

bricks disintegrate the lights on red

where the road folds over I tie

myself in knots trying to see how

the standstill image might lay

everything side by side in static

histories that never happen here

where the lights on continuous loop

flicker into shadow scuff marks vapour trails


under the stones the minutes

scratch away in seconds and nothing stays when you look a second

time on a curve of thought spiralling into where I might be written a moment ago there were futures in bricks

as the ground opens up only the sky’s unchanged in the roughened surface global weather patterns notwithstanding



our faces scrunch against the sun territorial integrity softens into rain

in the torn edges summer

as things get cloudy under

berry-stained where birds fly

cold fronts of diplomatic pressure

overhead in strict formation crossing I signed on the dotted line and became

wet ground as colour seeps over

another autumn falling through

and into living things where they copper and bronze the blue winds

begin an arc of movement from

in our mouths a scale of connections

hatching to blur whole continents balanced at street level

do not contain them

from a storm to a single drop


in our mouths beyond human

beyond habitation the winds

in a circle of eyes on the liquid

surface of social contact

translucent bodies where place

comes through in washes

beyond the city lilac far

off mountains water in the rough

fur of dogs their open mouths and eyes


on the tip of your tongue another

word for it that won’t settle

under cloud of a half-known

language the tip of ice melts

on the page in the friction of

asphalt under shoes chewing gum

stains map islands corresponding

to nothing elsewhere but better

to know this than nothing



the global falls open early one morning the search engine split your

as if the real and virtual worlds name into flood victim film

were different spheres as if the stride star doctor on four continents we passed

of boots across the street

each other in the street a collision

were not in time with anthems

or collusion in air currencies

of nations warping on the car stereo magnified in cross-section the lens

in the other world its clouds of ink smudged by speed you were here

gather in thumbprints where

a second ago both feet on the ground

each line is your next move

flipped over in the sphere of an eye


Street Crossing

Oil on canvas

6” diameter


Eyes on the City

Ink on paper




Ink and charcoal on hand made paper 6 ½” diameter



Watercolour, ink, and crayons on hand made paper 6 ½” diameter


Cosmo 1

Ink on hand made paper

6 ½” diameter



Ink on paper


Cover: Eye

Ink on hand made paper

6 ½” diameter

From here’ was an email collaboration during the summer of 2008

that began with a chance meeting one rainy afternoon during Territories Re-imagined: International Perspectives, a conference and festival of psychogeography at Manchester Metropolitan University. Over the following weeks, Simonetta sent drawings from New York, I sent poems back from Bangor in north Wales, and the sequence developed as a conversation. Thanks to the AHRC, whose support has provided time for this project. ZS