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a series of fragments & notes about Chance, Fate, Context & Intention by Dara Wier

at the stately pace of a caravan disappearing into an undivided somewhere, all its secrets locked, swaying with the progressive movement toward and away from.  But what is needed is some act other than pressing a button and having it all happen, some way of living into the layers as they occur and not losing momentum in order to……….
(Three Poems The New Spirit p. 30 Ecco paper)

by which I mean poems saying as only poems can what can only be contained in what poetry is.  I love the book.  And I benefit endlessly from it. 

And I know what follows is not “fair” and one should not be asked to choose, and it must be so that for each one of us at different times and in different circumstances we have variously many various responses to artificially narrow choices such as these---nevertheless for the sake of just making some ways to say some things for a while, here is this:

 What affords, promises, delivers, maybe gives us a more sure escape from ourselves:

 Reading a book or watching a film, as if I had to choose…….

Which guarantees a greater escape from one’s self (and the claustrophobia of one’s cyclical looping thoughts waiting to jump their tracks………), the book or the film?
Why and how and stories and anecdotes please in words or in pictures.  To Dara Wier at if you will.


I feel I ought to show my hand and say my peace; for me, it is always a book first though a film can have a lasting effect and cause one to take what one’s come to expect (the look and what the look resonates and suggests, why then, the book; the book, the book and anyway everyone knows no one should feel the need to choose, not in this, no good reason, though since I am thinking about what if I needed to choose, here is why and how I would).

 What if one knows reason only in its physical manifestations? 

The deaf man skins a squirrel for his supper.  Ten thousand seedlings need to be culled for a hundred to thrive.  Thorns come in all sizes.  Snakes do get angry.  It is possible to tame a raccoon. Bloodhounds howl.  At night knots knot themselves in hair and twine.  They have lives of their own. Sometimes baby owls eat one another.  They eat one another just like Russian dolls do, only in reverse somehow, Russian dolls un-eat one another one at a time. 

The girl on the Morton Salt Box holds a box on which she is holding a box which pictures her holding a box which...........and so on and on was imagination asked to minimize the image-chain-link boring through the ordinary visible into the other side of a whole otherwise extraordinary reality.  The salt box sits on the kitchen table where everyone can see it.  In plain view, pointing straight on toward one of life’s mysteries.

I liked to sit on my grandmother's bed which was situated in the middle of her room.  On flanking walls were mirrors above dressers. If you sat on the bed facing either mirror what you were given in return were infinitely smaller images of yourself drilling into the infinitely vast mirror depths.  You could be a torch on a river bank drilling its reflection as far as one can see into a river. 

You could go on as far as you were willing to imagine.

During the same time these images and instances were fascinating my days, I was deeply involved in a closet.  In its small, maybe 3 by 5 floor space, I was busy building an altar.  Eventually my private altar mimicked all accoutrement accompanying the public, operative altars I visited with relatives. 

A twig here to be a cross, some little wax figurines for saints with various names:  Saint Blessed of the Blue Nets, Saint Bill of the Fancy Shirt, Saint Marie of the Endless Hair, Saint Jerry of the Secrets, Saint Grace of the Terrible Eyes, Saint Claire of Kindness, Saint Green and Gold and Orange and Black, Saint Lynn of the little Brownies, Saint Broadcast of the Midnight Anthems, Saint Scary, Saint Nail, Saint Pitcher, Saint Pot, Saint Sink, Saint Mule, Saint Snakes Be Still, Saint Traintrack, Saint Japonica Seeds, Saint of the Furious River, Saint of Rain, Saint  Queen of Clubs, Saint Singing, Saint Dancing, Saint Sleep.

So much of which seems, then it should be film, this is all something to look at, but it wasn’t it was all in my head, pretty much, most of the time, not always.

About the same time it was as if I saw a poem for the first time.  In fact, I had seen a lot of poems. But these were the poems I really saw, I stared into them, I watched them to see what they would do.  As if I'd never seen one before.  But I had.  I'd seen them in prayer books, on calendars, in greeting cards, on cup towels, in newspapers, and in my father's schoolbooks.


This is dedicated to the WORDS & PICTURES DAY SYMPOSIUM (happening at Flying Object, November 8th, NOON to NINE) HOSTS Laura Warman, Delia Pless, Sarah Nichols, Molly McArdle, Christopher Griggs, Patrick Gaughan, Elmira Elvazova, Max Cohen, Andy Bowers, Colleen Barry


And to Dorothea Lasky