The Twins by Zeynep Cansu Baseren
"These two pieces both explore dealing with trauma and a lingering sense of dissociation. A foothold machine is an imaginary device that gives one the support they need when daily life feels like a slippery climb. The Twins is a sketch of duality and a reminder of the elusive nature of 'personality'."
The Foothold Machine (a poem)
They say you squint your eyes on sticky steps.
Litter for your social marker, viewing pleasure.
What they say bounces off disabled buzzers
What if I told you broken glass can be a convenience
If used properly with someone’s hand?
You may look to see childhood on a hand.
You may look to see the first of your last.
You may think feet are cute in overexposure.
You may fuck to learn what counts best.
Breasts in love and fight are always the same -
Most people will have nipples and smell of chemically
Mimicked apples. They will allow you to make music with
Their panting, giggles and squeaks: the lesson here being you may
See life as something that accelerates if you empathise with the climate.
The drill will be reprised until a comfortable sense of
Reality is achieved. You may then sense a hand as just a hand,
Or something to kiss and be slapped with. You may never
Reach the end of many lined-up bottomless pits, and orifices
Will leak in delightful terror. This may be a soak test in any
Language I know, a spot-on problematic forking towards the
Women you like. Nothing resembles a Greek chorus for you may
Read absolutely nothing on flat-held hands.
I read other poets to be convinced of the necessity of language -
And that some aches are redundant and rationality triumphs.
An adult can be made without ever learning how to handle a stubborn ache.
Nothing like the postmodern critique of overturned bowels of land…
You may seek a mechanical thing clenching its claws to dig into
The skin of the selective facts between us. This machine will get you places,
As does never uttering my name along the banks of a fertile flow.
Almost not there and digging metal ends into sweet decay
I shudder on the cold timely iron, for living on borrowed furniture
Is a science I mastered in this northern land of loss-cutting under
Ripe conditions. Female parts can be likened to pieces of fruit on fire
Displayed at disillusionment’s end. All this in an October, with an
Impending dullness to prevail.
The foothold machine contracts, to assure signatories
Of the good deal of getting places. It displaces the heart to relocate
It to up and coming grisly liminalities. So long as my name is
On stand-by and cushions you know are welcoming there will be a novel
Intensity in hard pounding. Where I look, the machine’s ribbed case
Will contract like a worm, and seeing a few pebbles roll down under
Our feet will equate to twisted relief from non-calibration.
-Zcb, London, a cold October
Zeynep Cansu Baseren is a Turkish poet and digital artist based in London. Zeynep received her Master's Degree in Sociology from the London School of Economics. Her visual poetry, digital art and academic translations have appeared in numerous Turkish and international magazines since 2005. She has also exhibited her visual poetry at the Text Festival, held in Bury, Manchester.