exercise: N 3.5.3: pear man

3.5.3
His body is a pear, dripping with juices. Fruit flies cricle him day and night regardless of the season. He’s in a wheelchair most of the time, walking his feet forward so he doesn’t have to touch the wheels. When he arrives at a place without accessibility he locks his wheelchair up with a bike lock. The fruit flies follow him. They nest in his hair, his knotty beard, the pockets of his safari vest. Generations have called this pear-man home, generations innumerable back through the swirling haze of fruit fly history.


Logan Bright

exercise: N 3.5.2 – a little like a poodle

3.5.2
She’s got the pointed snout of a pure poodle, a show dog with disdain radiating from dead black eyes. Her nose strains toward the ground like it’s preternaturally afflicted by gravity, much moreso than the rest of her face. Her jaw slopes down, two long ski hills meeting at a pointed chin, with only a hint of lip before nostrils begin. Occasionally her tongue slips from between her lips and swipes them with a quick layer of moisture. Her breathing comes in rapid spurts like pressure escaping a loosened valve. Her dense, curly hair covers, for the most part, her pointed ears.


Logan Bright

exercise: N 3.5.1: a head like a jar

3.5.1

He’s got a head like a jar but he’s not a marine. He works at the supermarket in the produce department. There are no jars there to deal with, only loose vegetables in waxy boxes. He used to work in the general grocery department – did so for years. Too often, though, he felt customers’ eyes bouncing back and forth between pickle jars and his head, between sauerkraut jars and his head, and so on. The similarities were undeniable. He used to wear a pork pie hat but it looked too much like a lid. He wears a thin layer of powdery foundation to cover his skin’s inherent shininess, which too closely reminds him of glass. An ex- once described him as lantern-jawed, and he liked that. He didn’t notice that she’d started to say “jar.”


Logan Bright

exercise: N 3.4 – hands on four people

exercise: N 3.4 – hands on four people

(nervous
artistic
rich/poor
ill)

1.
picking at fingernails
white bite marks
one spot bald of hair, sore and blushing red

His hands tap a steady rhythm on whatever surface they happen to be resting on. They flit like birds, and don’t last long in any one spot. The fingers are in constant communion with the thumb, which picks and digs at the fingernails, seeking strings of white skin like maggots, wriggling in the cuticles, digs them out until a spot of blood appears. The nails themselves are bitten-down, with white scratch marks on their surfaces, radiating out from where tooth meets keratin in a spreading spider-web crack like a brick in a window.

The fleshy spot between thumb and index on the back of his left palm is dried, blushing red and white. The hair follicles have been worn away by the forceful rubbing of his right thumb.

2.
shapely nails, each painted individually, but chipped and worn
calloused palms, fingertips
often in a wave pattern, fingers moving/stretching

She’s got longish, shapely nails, each painted a saturated hue, individually, with a fine brush. Colours cascade across the fingers in swooping, swirling detail, patterns evolving and recurring on individual nails. The thumbnails, though, are unpainted – plain flesh, as though they were the officers and the fingernails the enlisted. Each nail, thumbs included, are worn, though, chipped around the edges, imperfectly maintained. The colours are flaking off in places – the officer cracking through the shell of the enlisted, a rite of passage – flesh tones showing through in the mosaic.

Often, she moves the fingers in a rhythmic exercise, like a wave in a baseball stadium, from pinky to index or index to pinky, each finger following the next. The motion is fluid through years of habit.

3.
slim, vibrant, glowing colour
perfect nails, extra long, salon-done
several silver bands with tiny gemstones, six in total spanning hue of pride flag

Her hands are slim with tapered fingers, and the soft flesh glows with a vivid rosy tone. They rest easily together, seem to fold effortlessly into one loving tangle in her lap, and yet can pull apart as smoothly as two educated lovers. The nails are long and perfect, salon-produced, with crescent moons where nail meets finger as white as the heart of the sun. Their shape is geometrically perfect, to a certain scale.

Each finger but two – the ring fingers on each hand (where the spirit lives, if you buy Lynchian cosmology) – bears a slender silver ring, each with a tiny setting clutching like greedy fingers a gemstone of intricate cut. Their hues range along the pride flag rainbow, from red to violet, in established order. They glitter in the light.

4.
supremely tiny hands, grey-green complexion
old blue tattoos running down the back of palms into fingers
nails yellow and skin peeling away from them

He’s got these tiny hands; the tendons show through draped skin. His grey-green flesh his own death shroud. Along the thin, flimsy flesh is a series of blue tattoos, hand-drawn by friends and enemies. They run in rivulets down his arm into his wrist, spread like roots across the back, following the grooves of the chicken-bone tendons inside. The lines even spiral and splash along each finger, swirling and tapering to the nails, where the skin is peeling away from the yellow-grey keratin, leaving a mucky purple like a mini oil spill at the suppurating nail.

He can move his wrists a bit, and flex the muscles of his right thumb. The fingers themselves are heavy and dead on the soft linen.


Logan Bright

exercise: N 3.3 – character through gait, posture, carriage

exercise N 3.3 – character through gait, posture, carriage

This guy’s got a keg-fridge torso and the root-like legs to lug it. A big spray of fat clings to his abdominals but his arms, sloping forward in their sockets like a primate cousin might, are strong and scarred, calloused past the wrist from a lifetime of skilled labour.

When he steps out of his car he’s long and languid with it, casually bending like a reed in a lava lamp. He plants both feet squarely on the ground, confident of their connection with the earth, before he swings his bowling-ball-sized centre of gravity up through the door and into the world. He stands, his pelvis subtly thrusted, hands at his lapels, surveying the scene. In profile he is indistinguishable from a sliced side of beef hung white and motionless in a butcher’s blue back room.

He sees his grandmother rounding the corner. She’s pushing her walker, full of groceries, moving with the slow grace of a caterpillar. He hurries over to greet her, chest proudly out as his great gorilla arms pump. Despite their knotty size, his feet leap nimbly from the pavement and land with a pleasant rubber -whump- in easy rhythm.

She wraps him in a warm hug, his form enclosing hers, gently, as though he held a bird’s nest in his palm. He bent double to take her in. He bent a little at the knees to save his back.

Taking the cart over, he adopts her pace. They take the neighbourhood a half-metre at a time, enjoying the breeze. His back’s hunched some to control the tiny cart, his blunted fingers all but obscuring the faded pink foam handle he’d put on the cart when he’d presented it to her a few birthdays back. His neck swivels whenever she points to a bird or a child or an interesting bit of architecture.

He puts away her groceries and reposes on the couch an hour before getting up and saying, “Love you granny. See you tomorrow.”


Logan Bright

exercise: N 3.2 – describe the mirror

exercise: N 3.2 – describe the mirror

I have a new scar on my forehead, above my right eye. It’s hook-shaped, like the discarded claw of a cat found with a bare foot in a shag rug. It’s still reddish-rose, such is its freshness. I got it from the corner of a wooden dresser. I stood up into it, sprung to my feet with my wrestled prize – a radio I was trying desperately, for some minutes, to unplug and untangle from an adjacent bookshelf – and cracked my skull on the wood’s corner. I bled, a good bit. Chose no stitches but I did stay home from work that day.

There’s a flesh wound on my left nostril, along the delicate rim, that I got from shaving recently. The shadow’s crawling back onto my chin and upper lip as the nostril wound goes rare-steak burgundy. it’s just an angled line fragment, cut it being careless, was frustrated with hacking away at the rest of my face that day. My beard had grown long but flimsy, practically diaphanous, and I’d been shaving a while already, a single-blade safety razor, all clean and clinical in its stainless silver form. Trouble is my weak technique – a few spots of scab along the throat will testify to this.

My cheeks are gaunt and pitted, thanks to veganism on one hand and a history of shit complexion on the other. Rough go with acne as a kid leaves me red and oily. The thinness I’m okay with, except the sharp planes of the face make the white-hot highlights – overblown, too hot, they’d say, the monitor zebra-striping like Samurai Jack back in time – all the more obvious.

I have a small brown bump behind my right earlobe, it’s like a mole or freckle I guess. Softish to the touch and unassuming. I’ve been asked what it is and I don’t know. I’ve never asked someone else what it is, that I know of. Maybe some doctor in the annals has run tests, or maybe that’s to come.


Logan Bright

exercise: 3.1 – an admired person

N exercise 3.1 – one admired person

She’s up just after dawn and seems to thrive on little sleep. At any given time she’s working on her website, her sketchbook, her lesson planning. Her laptop is tuned to world music while she does her daily sketch, a half-hour tour of bright colour and strong shapes. When the timer’s up she’ll post the result to Insta, move onto the next thing.

Today she’s got her blog’s weekly update to prepare – she collects and collates all the work of the week and brings it into one beautiful package. She uses Illustrator and though she doesn’t know all of the tools she gets around it all right.

She writes about what she’s been reading this week, the TV shows she’s seen. A few words per piece of media captures her impressions. Her reviews are like haiku, precisely structured. She edits images and arrays them using shapes and masks. When she’s covered the week, she clicks “post.”

A few likes come in on Insta, a comment or two, to the effect of “great post” or “beautiful!” and which may or may not include emojis. The tepid response seems hardly worth the effort of the art, let alone curating it into a weekly digest. All the same, she’s on her bed, the cat curled up beside, today’s music – Scottish folk – wheeling up from her laptop, and after a brief stint on Tumblr, taking in – in flickering fragments – the work of others, she grabs her hardback sketchbook and starts into the next thing. She does 3.5 double-page spreads a day, in coloured marker. These, too, she’ll photo, share on Insta and her site.

The “number of posts” counter has increased by one – her total likes up by fifteen or maybe even twenty. She refreshes the stats, smiles, and puts her pen to paper.


Logan Bright