The Friday Poem: Art by Susanna Gendall

A prose poem by Wellington writer Susanna Gendall.


The number of artists at the art gallery was overwhelming. It seemed there were too many. There were too many. Never would so many poems be assembled in a single building and people expected to walk around and read each one. It seemed an unfair burden that had been placed on the visitors, but that is exactly what they were determined to do. I could not stop crossing paths with one woman in particular. I was walking across the room to look at some bright colours; she was going the other way in search of geometric shapes. I took a last-minute left into musicalism; she was lingering between two violins. I took a right into a hallway ill-advised to those prone to epilepsy, but she got there before me. She was doing her best to get away from me as well, judging from her lips which grew increasingly thin as we both made abrupt diagonal lines in opposite directions. But the art was stronger than us and persisted in pushing us together in nonsensical arrangements. I was always running into the people I least wanted to see. In the end I left the art gallery to get away from her. I sat outside in the grey sun, exhausted, blinded by art, unable to recall a single painting. All I could see was that unremarkable woman in her white T-shirt, her black hair parted severely down the middle, her sensible sneakers that were white and black. 

The Spinoff is made possible by the generous support of the following organisations.
Please help us by supporting them.