1. (verb)(-a,-tia) to tear, rip, rend, tear off
James Tapsell-Kururangi
Let it be said, let it be told to the voice which rendered a flat plane of reasoning, a barren field where I sow doubts and forgot words. Oh, I carried the basket and ran the length of a mile, meters swallowed up the red haemoglobin and stopped, gasping for breath. Breath. Temper the tit of these 28-days, veins hung as a veil, a filament of skin passes but does not bring rain. What grows under bare feet? they’re sodden and bruised, blue when starved of oxygen. Swollen from a lack of touch and as I regress into an aged body, petrified. A foot becomes a centimetre. Days aggravated by a restless acre whose horizon reminds me.

I once had a name. I was the architect. Compartmentalised each and every hour and kept the pride of our family’s order. I paved the suburbs for you and his lover, the aggregate a grain of solitude. That is why I’m standing at the wasteland. With an empty basket. That’s the true north which leads the compass round in concentric circles and abandons the roads, and paths we planned.

Come close, nurture a stranger. Notice the notes, utterances. Of this single breath. Run!
Far from the molly, a turnip head of silly thoughts exchanged for freedom.

                               I had been thinking of Ursula K. Le Guin’s (1986) The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction when I wrote this piece in response to Isabella Loudon’s exhibition, Wastelands. I had been told it offered an alternative to our conception of human evolution. Le Guin argued that it was not a tool, such as the spear that the hunter thrust into a bison which was as important to our survival, but the gatherer who carried a basket and collected kai from the fields.

     I visited Isabella in her studio. It is a dark basement at the bottom of some New York like residential apartments, with brass accents in the foyer. It was raining, and I       wore a t-shirt and was cold. A giant kete was stored next to an old radio, or something old which I studied while reading aloud Le Guin’ essay.

Old things
A superposition of graduated shale
We watched the eclipse through the square milk cartons lined with tin foil as the Ruapehu ash fell
In the 90’s Michael Jackson did the moon walk & the kids had gone to his concert in Tāmaki

The Train Station isn’t from here
Arrived one night on the back of a truck
the hottie I pashed from Dakota Apartment’s told me
Pieces of heritage, pieces of graffiti listed as

You know this site is red listed.
Don’t eat the fennel or drink the Wai!
A dump / a carpark / a retirement village

A fire in the belly of this room 0ohm,
Iron tiles not yet soot, or as old as the Floran stage containing the Trilobites
A poorly preserved HypagnostusKootenia-Peronopsis assemblage in the Heath Creek Bed of the Haupiri Group.
They represent the oldest fossils in Aotearoa

No, I carry the basket of our histories
I will lie in this awa
In the last rays of Tama-nui-te-rā
let it be said, let it be told

                                                 [Yesterday] I went to the library in the afternoon. I read of how rocks had their own genesis. A Geological Timescale. Last Labour Weekend I filmed boulders on the Tongariro River. Why am I interested in these old things?

Isabella Loudon, How sculpture feels. Oil pastel on news print, 594mm x 841mm. Courtesy of the artist.
James Tapsell-Kururangi (Te Arawa, Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Mākino, Tainui, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Porou, Te Whānau-a-Rākairoa).
 Curatorial intern for Te Tuhi.
Runs a gallery called Papatūnga on the platform at Parnell Train station.
Artist hustle too.
©Lieu Journal 2020