"What's so blank about it?"


Conyer Clayton

Conyer Clayton (she/her) is an Ottawa-based artist and gymnastics coach, originally from Louisville, Kentucky. She has 6 chapbooks; most recently Trust Only the Beasts in the Water (above/ground press, 2019). In 2018, she released a collaborative album with Nathanael Larochette, If the river stood still. She is the winner of Arc's 2017 Diana Brebner Prize and The Capilano Review's 2019 Robin Blaser Poetry Contest and writes reviews for Canthius. Her debut full-length collection of poetry, We Shed Our Skin Like Dynamite, came out May, 2020 with Guernica Editions.


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"'What's so blank about it?' responds to / reacts to / jumps off from René Magritte’s 1965 painting The Blank Signature."


I've always been a horse bisected by trees.

I grew up this way. Every so often my torso

takes on another layer of bark, widening. This is


why torso and trunk are interchangeable. This is why


I have no waist. When I say horse, what I really mean


is woman, what I really mean is tree, is


background noise, is the space between necessary


columns at an unnecessary church. Centaur


implies male, somehow, so yeah, I've always been


a big-dicked horse man trotting along the reservoir.


I've never understood the difference between a


structure to hold things up and a system to keep

things down. Roots. Plaster. Paperwork. Iron


metalled between toes. Basically, the point is


that everything disappears even if you don't want it


to. We become the same as whatever passes behind us.

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