"What's so blank about it?"
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.
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.