We are those with a view.
We have several feet, several faces, several backsides, several skins.
We contain certain unstable impressions,
Call it memories,
Call it the patina of time.
We understand that there’s something more underneath,
This available image.
And do we care? Yes, not really.
We appreciate our incapacity to undo what has been undone.
We cannot protect the artist’s hand from the artist’s other hand.
Within lapped fields of inconsistent colour,
The surface cuts casually across terms like,
Abstract and Representational,
Failure and Recovery.
We imagine losses, lacunae—
A papering-over that pulls the face of progress.
It remains unclear.
We heard there was a layer of horse.
We heard there were further references.
We heard there was a body without organs.
We heard there were other women.
We ask, who can reëstablish that which may never have existed?
We ask, Why is the measure of love loss?
We could argue,
We can’t see anything at all.
Maybe, we’re losing our bearings.
Maybe, we’re on vacation.
So, we reach for familiar analogies—
The folded reflective panes of a café’s window.
The mother/daughter relationship in the 1983 movie Terms of Endearment starring,
Shirley McLean and Debra Winger.
The felt absence of a cat.
Those lines she wrote about lying on the floor flat until,
We become both figure and ground,
Neither intimate nor remote.
amille Claudel caught in stone,
We are those who futurize and historicize.
We used to wear hats.
— Ella Dawn McGeough, 2021