︎
William Arnold                                                


20 cucurbits, Elm Farm, 2017.
Photographed to scale.
Grown by the artist.
Text by Mollie Goldstrom
Pamphlet by Antler Press available here








CUCURBITA MAXIMUS

It likes to hang freely
Platina, 1475

a floral cup in early morning for pollen-gathering solitary bees
entangled in the creeping tendrils of feral escapes extending overground
clasping at supports to hold forth in stamenate, pistillate blossom
five-lobed leaves, palmate, beckoning in an open-handed gesture

first-fruit dominance swelling to tip the scales, (size does matter)
gnaw through verrucose rind to the quick: exocarp, mesocarp, endocarp
anthelmintic flesh of a damp and cold virtue for choleric temperaments
a tumble of hard, spherical, indehiscent fruits cupped by the damp grass

heaped in barrows, perched on picnic tables, sat on sun-warmed gravel
a vegetal sentience propping the door with its ample presence:
tumescence to keep the papers from scattering in the cross-breeze
yellowe to the sun warde, straked with manie spots and lines of divers colours*

rare cultivars lining the mantel in full morphological splendor:
a spinning top with undulations and equatorial edges
longitudinal grooves, bulbous at the apex, a stem end that narrows
globose, oblong, conical, obovoid, discoidal, cylindrical, pyriform

*John Gerard, 1597

Mollie Goldstrom (2018)
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