Indelible Gothic by Julia Gibson

Poem name: Indelible Gothic Poet name: Julia Gibson Poem: Grisly white plaid bone on black sky. I share the streets, the thick-walled closes where drunks suffered the rain of shit from window buckets, who dwelt where Roman geometry met volcanic stone, the same colours as peat, blood-soaked long ago. (We do say that violence erupts.) I wander the public squares with those hung by the ears to be executed and jeered at as they died. The mill-abouters tell me that it really was quite sporting! I, too, wore undisguised animal skins and wool and I, too was glad to behold another punished without having to do it myself. The gratis gluttony! gruesome and gorgeous. My companions are not ghosts but underlays — the layers of cobblestone against which my footsteps clip and ring like a hammered nail. In hammered mail the sentries wrung the cloths to wipe the guts — the black from the grime and the red from the glory in the plaid, cross-backed and cross-hatched, the cross-thatched roofs in turn loyal to the cross from which even the black sky cannot escape, the grid of wooden window skeleton frames, light-plumbing steeples. End of poem. Credits: Copyright © Julia Gibson Julia Gibson is a multidisciplinary thinker, creator, and problem solver aspiring to contribute to a more understanding and compassionate world. After studies in violin performance at Manhattan School of Music, she completed a BA in Cognitive Science at Brown University, and an MSc in mathematics at McMaster University. She now works both as a poet and an aerospace engineer in Toronto. A supporter of pluralism and free speech, she is on the production team for Shab-e She’r, Toronto’s bravest and most diverse poetry series. Her first full-length collection of poetry, Two Doors, was published in 2019.