Now we sit and play with a tiny toy elephant that travels a taut string. Now we are used and use in turn each other. Our hats unravel and that in itself is tragic. To be lost. To have lost. Verbs like veritable engines pulling the train of thought forward. The hat is over- turned and out comes a rabbit. Out comes a man with a monocle. Out comes a Kaiser. Yikes, it's history, that ceiling comprised of recessed squares, each leg a lifeline, each lie a wife's leg. A pulled velvet cord rings a bell and everyone comes running to watch while a year plummets into the countdown of an open mouth. A loop of razor wire closes around the circumference of a shaken globe of snow. Yellowed newsprint with its watery text, a latticework of shadow thrown onto the clear screen of the prison wall. From a mere idea comes the twine that gives totality its name. What is a theory but a tentacle reaching for a wafer of reason. The inevitable gap tragic. Sure, tragic.
Mary Jo Bang - 1946-
Self-Portrait in the Bathroom Mirror
Some days, everything is a machine, by which I mean remove any outer covering, and you will most likely find component parts: cogs and wheels that whirr just like an artificial heart, a girl in a red cap redacting the sky, fish that look like blimps and fish-like blimps, an indifferent lighthouse that sweeps the horizon. I wasn’t a child for long and after I wasn’t, I was something else. I was this. And that. A blast furnace, a steel maze inside, the low-level engine room of an ocean liner. My eye repeats horizontally what I by this time already know: there is no turning back to be someone I might have been. Now there will only ever be multiples of me.