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The charcoal’s tip exhales the
face like lips exhale blown smoke.
face appears like the name appears when the paper’s rubbed against a grave.
The hand moves & the
A sculpture in the mind directs.
Look at the pictures of deep sea creatures: our brains are the earth imagining itself.
The mouth full of hair or blood speaks the pictorial language.
The mouth full of hunger.
face usually starts with an eye.
The coal traces the
faces of my family’s bones, portraits me-not-me the dream grammar of objects cloaked in others’ names.
Making visible the
face, the many, that are watching.
Cunt & cock & asshole & breast, the old vocabulary – not so spoken now.
And suddenly now, suddenly across years, I’m interested now in the
face not mine. Not imagining the face, but seeing the face.
When I write you a letter, I sign your name last, enveloping it with your name in my hand.
The struggle, in painting the
face not mine, the eyes-not-mine, is to not make THE face look like THAT face. Meaning: there’s a moment when the face begins to look familiar, and the memory traces of those once known begin to direct the hand & eye, begin to lull to sleep, to trace memory, to stop being open to THE face. “All fantasy is group fantasy.” How not alone I’m —.
Can you sign your name on the envelope of the letter I write you? I’m asking this, it seems.
Garbage, scraps, wrecked paper. Paper bags. Refuse, noun & verb.
The coal’s tip cut with a straight blade, an homage to a memory of long time gone.
It was in Tokyo, ‘I was 17, living alone – isolated in language & exiled in space, the stolen oxygen tanks of someone else's air on my back, running out’ – that I first began to trace my days with pictures. In a metropolis of ideograms I began to speak in signs. Small fires broke out on the landscape of my body. A dialect, as Freud would say. I drew objects and they were bent. The sansui, the ancient e-makimono, the scrolls – I spent half my time in them, and the other in sleep, dreaming. Feeling the high mountain air of the sumi-e in the Ueno Museum; Soga Shohaku was my friend. As were dancing rabbits & frogs. Niten. The Arhats. The Bodhisattva’s furious brows and jolly fat. The seven shades of black.
True love, a rescue.
You understand, don’t you: a fence, around a fence, around another fence, so the one that gets in has to — get in. A word, a
face, a body, a script – apparati making the imaginary jewel glisten in a depth dug in time.
Founding fathers, and others just – found.
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