IN THE GALLERY
After The Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors, Even,
by Marcel Duchamp, 1915-23
Between glass panes, the image struggles,
torn by the light when discovered,
caught as reflection
when eyes glance past—
uneasy at what they imagine:
nothing is nothing there,
but nothing stares back,
impressed by its own distortion—
this abject dance—this shattered resistance.
WHERE ALL MERGES
“Goldfinches shine as they float through the air.”
Think of the air illuminated by a float of
goldfinches : the gold air, slowed down
by this devotion—time-caught,
as if the air has memory—
will not let go this golden image.
Now think of the gold float of fish
just below the surface of sunlit water
where sky and water connect :
the shimmering water-clouds, the
golden birds and fish—all merging
in the last glowing moments of sunset.
THE NEVER-ENDING CONVERSATION
After Never-Ending-Conversation (Claudia Bernardi)
and Broken Death (Carlos Cartegena)
I Ghostly . . .
They speak in voices audible only to each other.
A glow of flame fills the distance, a glow of blue
falls upon them from the day in its ending.
They are a mixture of pigment and clay,
a red sun rises through the dark—or is it the moon?
It is the moon.
White scars of old wounds show through the liquid bodies.
They speak without animation.
They are trimmed down to shadow.
Their voices are hollow.
They love each other, still, and in spite of.
All difference is gone.
All sameness remains the same.
They speak of this together. They do not touch each other.
II One frees the other now . . .
And in the otherness, a black horse is without its rider.
It is tethered to the red moonlight
and frightened by the flow of gold light it stomps upon.
It is a chasm of decision the rider cannot make.
He has fallen into one dimension from another.
He is separate from everything known.
His confusion is an anger—what can he do
but yell and raise his weapon.
The black horse whinnies. One frees the other now—
half in gold fire, red fire,
they struggle to live the only way they can:
apart: horseless rider—riderless horse.
III They appear as art . . .
In the third finality, which is finished, they appear
as art : pigments on paper, fragment and whole,
still-lives caught in mid-motion, still connected
to the other, effort and failure, effort and gain,
nothing is lost of them—again and again—
visual and audible, without emotion.
RED TREE IN BURNING SUNSET
Red fire-tree with ignited leaves.
Flaming cloud in melting sky.
Floating landscape between.
Under normal sky,
dried grass and a blue house,
a rut-carved road that circles the sky-island,
paths and swirlings—all dark—except for
a red cloud that cannot burn out and
a red tree that keeps its red leaves burning.
This is to determine the “is-ness”
and “mock-reality” that one would believe
, else why would the red cloud respond
to a tree with burning red leaves
, else why would the normal even be there,
the drifting island unharmed between . . . ?
THE CAUGHT EXPRESSION
Now there is one ghost and one sorrow
converging | in the replicate | mirror.
The image is shared—almost reclaimed.
Oh Self. | Oh Mother.