Heather H. Yeung (楊希蒂)


Bog Star Sonnet

Parnassia palustris X Hermaphrodite endormi

After all that action & all we can give is ITEM 1 mattress,
indifferent (white) frame for xyr (once an item, once 2,
now xe, so far from those boggy origins). A FULL 60 SCUDI
BED for xyr to star on. Bernini. Right here. XE marks the spot.

Even @ rest xe is xyr own drama : straitstemmed (hairless) snapt to
attention holding veins that thrum still thru petalling paleness of skin.

CARPELLATE : xe is : STAMINATE : xe is : (incredible
stamina) : PERENNIAL : we are : TERMINAL : it all is.

Even @ rest xe peddles those wares & YES it’s what’s there
we can’t get enuff of. YES we want the full 360. eX-Xe. NOW.

You coquette! You opposite of neutral! Ovid’s both
& neither! A room in the Villa Borghese where Xe = XO.
You bed us with your eyes (closed). Mesmerised, leave us
to turn over another leaf, let you sleep it off.



c.21st vernissage

     – Sol LeWitt

so —
what gives now as the weight of paint cracks
yr canvas insufficiently stretched, primed, [primped?
preened? are you ready yet?] & c.     &

can only stand aghast

apart from the process watch a double crackle 宋 [Song]
potters wld cherish [this crazed half-light was never
so effective at tightfisted illumination as now although
we all know a milder crackle may be accidental
a product perhaps of too-fast cooling off] as it
all          cracks                    up

the months or yrs or tears
& of course it is possible to equate all this [the symbols shew
us elastic proportions : ratio : a difference in strain
btwn sub- & pictorial layers] to measure our crack-up
thus, or similarly


from below comes the seismic shift
[we’re lucky it’s not landscape] which can be caused
only by too much crap piled above [yr gaudy daubs] & praps
drifting old age &

what [a] to do [?]

as I weep you ignore, pound the floor, pace, brush over
the cracks, crack brushes over yr one good knee, crying out
in pain & for crap’s sake begin what happens next
by stuffing the canvas with whatever you can find &

DIRT              DUST            [the floor has never been so clean]               CRUMBS
DEAD LEAVES                    MARZIPAN             CIGARETTE ASH        BROKEN
SHERDS OF CUPS        DOG HAIR        MY HAIR        [there was never
a dog]             SPIT         [twice or more]             WRATH             SKIN

it all goes in &

as a final joke        [grand geste of a master
jest . . . murther] you drag out
the oldest tin of primer you can find & slap it on in full
[an act of vernissage reverso, if you will, revenge best served
w/ nary a pang, pure impentimento] &

[[      it is a white square     ]]

taut masterpiece [pieces tight not from many yrs
of stretch but my short hours of tension yr short hours
of rage or sleep] a crackpot craquelure or conservator’s
nightmare &


sells for millions [a Song] yr white-out
midden or bleakest of ’mares, its all sorts hanging all out
in btwn shades of white just waiting           bleached of purpose
till it’s time to go dirty

cracking up all over again

* where                   sigma signifies crack spacing
chi the thickness of pictorial layer
iota the surface energy of pictorial layer
zeta majuscule elastic modulus of pictorial layer
omega depth of crack
zeta miniscule additional strain in sublayer (subject to further calculation)

to be repeated ad libitum or until exhaustion sets in, forming whole networks of cracks, aesthetically rendered


Heather H. Yeung (楊希蒂) is a poet, literary critic, theorist, and artist. She currently teaches in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Dundee. The archive of her poetic and text-based artistic work is held in the Scottish Poetry Library. 

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