Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Prayer of Removal:

Gods of sentiment, enclose
The past in an overarching crystal
Globe. Seal
The edges of the firmament
To the rim of what is known.
Inside the split rail fences of the Dutton Land
And to the four horizons
Circling round the hill
I pray to you remove
The asphalt from the roads,
Remove all metal from the roofs
And make them shakes that wind
Can whistle through. Remove
The sounds of every engine but
The creaking waterwheel, the pedal lathe, the
Distant huff and whistle of a train.
Take away the subdivision
Cul-de-sac. Take back the taxus
And the yews of landscaped yards,
Return the hawthorn, the thickets
On the knobs, the creek banks green with cane.
Take these painted walls away, have
Only logs chinked in with clay.
Remove all clothes sewn by machines,
Return the slow-stitched wool
Spun on a wheel, make a rarity of soap,
Commerce of eggs and cream.
Make the sudden flash
Of the photograph
Remove what we’ve discovered since.


William said...

Wow, wake up on the wrong side of the bed today?

Dan Dutton said...

Ha! I'm not removing stuff from my imaginary space because I don't like it! - I'm removing modernity in hopes of getting an idea of what preceded it. Slaves walking around in a subdivision is just too much stuff for one picture to contain at one time.

But hey, come to think of it, that's not such an uninteresting image! Thanks!

It's interesting tho about the response ~ I've been talking to Larry about a conversation we had back when he was visiting dandyland, interrogating me for the essay he wrote for Ballads of the Barefoot Mind - (where he commented on how THAT work was "weighted" with the past.) - in the course of conversation he claimed to have little interest in memory or the past.

I'd never thought about images as being "of the past" - or even "weighted" - tho I'd read Foucalt's piece pointing out that photographs are much about time and mortality - an instant vanished forever, just as the illusion of preservation is claimed.

My eldest brother once asked my mom if I was depressed, because I painted with dark colors.
I thought that was hilarious.

Anyways, the basic answer, nope - I'm happier than usual, because I've got something interesting to work on!