Prime Number Magazine
is a publication of
PO Box 30314,
Winston-Salem NC 27130
Issue 109, Jul – Sept 2017
Prime Number Magazine is a publication of Press 53, PO Box 30314, Winston-Salem, NC 27130
followed by Bio and Q&A
The Dappled Horses of Pech-Merle
They gallop from one side of rock to another
as if the possibility of wind and light
is as real as the cave dwellers
who painted them are.
Just one more leap,
a final plunge out of interior
into the blinding, dazzling
unknown and they’re free.
See the grasslands opening before them
as the prehistoric sun
beats down onto their spotted backs.
Far behind, the artists stand
clumped in a group
at the mouth of darkness.
Their hands sign gestures
to hold an emotion there are no words for—
the terrible, wonderful feeling
of watching a captured thing break away from its walls
and become something entirely
else, an image that refuses to be tamed,
wild as any life
that bucks the form it’s given
and shakes itself loose from shackles.
Lori Lamothe is the author of three poetry collections, including Kirlian Effect (FutureCycle Press, September 2017). New poems are forthcoming this year in Cider Press Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Ilanot Review, Menacing Hedge, Redux and elsewhere.
The poem is based on 25,000-year-old cave paintings discovered in southwestern France. The debate as to whether the artists based their work on actual spotted horses is ongoing, as is the dispute over the meaning of the handprints found near the paintings. Some scholars believe the prints were the cave artists’ signatures, others have different theories. Either way, I’m hopelessly drawn to the paintings.
What is your #1 pet peeve?
Not sure if this counts, but I’m going with scissors. As a lefty, I’ve had to contend with them for far too long.
What is your favorite article of clothing?
Not sure if this counts either, but I’d have to say it’s my suede platform clogs. They’ve got six inches of cork and are way more comfortable than they look.
Which book have you read from beginning to end more times than any other?
Sadly, I don’t reread books the way I did when I was a kid. There was a biography of Helen Keller I read at least 30 times when I was in second or third grade. I could practically recite this passage about the day Anne Sullivan taught Helen the word w-a-t-e-r. It was probably a little unhealthy and I still can’t explain my obsession with the book. As for the present, it’s gothic novels that draw me back. Wuthering Heights, The Thirteenth Tale, The Forgotten Garden, Possession, The Little Stranger. Lately I’ve been rereading Alice Hoffman novels.