Poet and artist Laakkuluk Williamson-Bathory shares her piece “Blood clots” below, and an accompanying photograph of her daughter’s first seal hunt.
Blood clots come falling out of her body:
Old, lifeless love sliding down her thighs
from the bulge harboured deep inside her.
Her eyes hold my gaze steadily
and I see that pain
is like teeth biting metal,
bare feet pressed into frayed wire endings.
Both the determined and hapless
receive this moment.
Both are forced to welcome it and
in the end, there is no difference.
This one, I hold her hand,
Give her sips of cold water.
Cynicism is the clear liquid that collects
around her swellings.
It was broken anyway
I should have known
I can’t hold this
I look at the floor
and wish we drained it
wish we collected it
wish we cleansed it
without the whirring of calculations and machines.
It’s nearly over.
The waves, the sleek descension.
Where do we go next? I ask.
She reaches down to the floor
and dips her fingers in the blood,
and streaks her face
Until it is red and craggy.
Pull me up, she says.
We have work to do.
Click the image to expand and zoom in.
“This is the braided intestine and the heart from the first seal my daughter caught last spring.”
— Laakkuluk Williamson-Bathory
ABOUT LAAKKULUK WILLIAMSON-BATHORY
Through performance, collaborative projects, writing and curatorial work, Laakkuluk Williamson-Bathory situates transcustomary Inuit cultural practice within a highly personal and political context. Uaajeerneq—Greenlandic mask dancing—forms the core of her practice. It is a provocative and improvised performance practice that explores themes of sexuality, fear, humour and the limits of human knowledge.
Williamson-Bathory’s work is well-known in Canada and the circumpolar world. She has performed and presented her work at arts centres, galleries and museums across the country including recent projects at the Art Gallery of Ontario; Chan Centre, Vancouver; Canadian Stage, Toronto; Plug in Gallery, Winnipeg; Concordia University, Montreal; among others. Laakkuluk Williamson-Bathory lives and works in Iqaluit.