Elementary Film After Abbas Kiarostami

By John Wilkinson

So to test the water. Folded-wing hippogriffs
crowd the paved shadows, they’ll be realised

lake from rill to shingle to humpback bridge
to this world, whose cinematic stiff, jewelled

assembly, scurrying through light, summoned,
signs undismayed. The courtesan’s shadow

scuds & dragonflies, dragonflies float. Rain
clouds rub, overlapping overlapping, steered

confident when she glides to rendezvous, she
sings the while. It’s raining, wakes nervous

hippogriffs who pawing the bridge in theory,
send their representatives, solid-hoofed

to break apart shadows, vein in spider glaze
lake from rill to shingle to humpback bridge,

veins of light lift a dragonfly. Light-trimmed
her stiff, jewelled ruffles had been fingered

& thought soft: the world keeps a distance,
disappointed, this world says so little, slough

a little inflates, furls its several consequences
into the hideyholes, bright pockets stitched

to a landscape clearly planted in all senses.
These are odd creases, much as I’d thought,

says she, it’s chance the wrinkles of avoiding
should like this repeat the wrinkles of meeting.
Chance indeed:

Best thing were
lurch stunned on their glittering footplates,
shining bridge cables
stunned here to drift
without response or proposition, turn ugly
witnessing a street assault, a transferred
package, angry at un-
reasonable distress,
where the fired body remains intact yet still
unknowably damaged,
or if known unfelt:

Best thing to pad through shattering puddles,
safe in a carbonised
wire tunnel, anti-
vandal paint, flash bounces back from a hurt,
makes glass opaque,
F-16 hippogriffs
fly off to Ireland, Nubia or Cyprus
bearing others’ markings:

once these furlings have unfurled, rolled back
shadows superimposed to show a causeway

creep like eventide beckons, lays on thick
lake from rill to shingle to humpback bridge,

horses of instruction are recalled to the stables,
leaving the field to monsters. Light delegates

fleet of foot, the outriders to flies’ agitation,
tangle with black candlewick, intrusive twigs,

imperative softening. These serried courtesans
break towards their summoners, they flutter

not so much skin-deep as a translucent body
showing its inner shadows’ assembly. Rented pockets alive, every grab-bag seething. None
says she, I’d be content to loiter, deep scale. I

see my convolutions layer, a slapped surface
light skint/
what do I have to do
with such invitation
soon clears up. She’s shouldering her satchel,

forward feet, shadows snatching at her fiercely,
lake from rill to shingle to humpback bridge.

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