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Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Presentiments of Future Memories: Incomplete Ways of Seeing


Girl walking toward her mom (taken by use of an uneven mirror with the image stabilizer turned on), East Portal, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado: photo by Wing-Chi Poon, 12 May 2006


Watch "nothing", keep the image full of unresolved possibility. Try to experience

the inexplicability of a partial view of life
, never quite forgetting

the peripheral observation.
Withhold things. Let yourself stay caught

between expectation and frustration.
Settle for the frustration

of the partial view.
See you're being permitted

a deeper leap into the world of what is shown

because that world is being held at such unusual distance.
Regard the world

at arm's length in any case, out of respect for its intrinsic mystery.

in images the presentiments of future memories.
Seek to intensify

the ghostly presence in what is seen

of what remains unseen.
Designate the poetic image

as essentially bewildering. Explain

nothing. Consider the frame a drifting block of affects and signs.

Black bird (Corvus corax) landing near a tent. (The image stabiliser happened to track the motion of the bird creating this blurred background effect.) Stovepipe Wells Campground, Death Valley National Park, California: photo by Wing-Chi Poon, 22 December 2004

Still from Three Times: Hou Hsiao-Hsien, 2005


Still from The Sandwich Man: Hou Hsiao-Hsien, 1983


Still from The Boys from Fengkuei: Hou Hsiao-Hsien, 1983

Still from Café Lumiere: Hou Hsiao-Hsien, 2003

Vancouver riot 'kiss' couple

A couple are seen in the middle of the Vancouver riot after the Canucks lost to the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup decider, 15 June 2011: photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images, via The Guardian


Anonymous said...

This is lovely, and reminds me of a line from one of Clarice Lispector's novels: "When living comes to pass, one wonders: but was that it? And the answer is: that is not only it, that is exactly it."

TC said...


Yes. That's it, exactly.

Susan Kay Anderson said...

At the edge of the Black Canyon
we didn't go too far
the chasm dizzy-making
pink marble
layers this way
and that--

what it took to lie down
in among the pinon pine
and sage
soft sand
deer tottering
excellent view
of Lone Cone
in the distance
stars right beyond
our hands our feet
instead of a fire
that summer
so dry underfoot.

Susan Kay Anderson said...

I wait for the bell to ring. It looks like a half an hour from now. Does this mean I might not be here after all?

Susan Kay Anderson said...

I guess that was a black bird
at the tent
and not a cougar
like I thought.

Anonymous said...

interesting this idea: ... "that world is being held at such unusual distance" ...!!

Wooden Boy said...

"Seek to intensify/ the ghostly presence in what is seen/ of what remains unseen."

We tend to think of phenomena as figures on some broad universal ground, never attending to the great teeming world from which these objects slip into our scope, a world that swims in polite disregard of the all too orderly violence of our gaze.

This wonderful poem has a serious ethical thread through it.

Susan Kay Anderson said...

I'm here to explain nothing.
Now, what are your questions?
"...settle for the frustration/of the partial view. See you're being permitted..."
says the poet, Tom Clark, shifting
shape, rattle in my ear
deer mask covering
his distinguishing features.

vazambam (Vassilis Zambaras) said...


As an afterthought on what Brad says:


such glimpses remind us of
what was it we were thinking of
before we were so
rudely interrupted?

TC said...

Thank gods for that deer mask.

Actually hobbled out with the busted up head last night, only possible hours the full moony darkest, and encountered two sets of deer -- this time of year they come down because the hills are dry, it's moisture they want, they can drink from a bush, and they are as am I in flight from the traffic. But I am the violator in their world. They freeze. In the middle of the always potentially deadly street. I say, "It's okay..." But it doesn't help. The California Mule Deer was here first, we only crossed those black canyons to arrive to die.

Susan, it might well have been a mountain lion. When the deer come down, the mountain lioness will follow, leaving her cubs behind in the quest to find something to feed them.

I still mourn for this beauty.

That will have been two years this next month.

And out there on the corner where Beauty was doomed when somebody dropped a smartphone dime on her, there on the Avenue of the Five Stars, the international diners still pass unconcerned, another piece stitched into in this incomplete picture,

"never attending to the great teeming world..."



"a deeper leap into the world of what is shown "


grey whiteness of fog against invisible
ridge, motion of green leaves on branch
in foreground, sound of wave in channel

the word as hand accidental,
the same word as “in”

before it was told, face of,
as it leaps up out of

grey white of fog reflected in channel,
wingspan of tern flapping toward point


(further resonances from the universes of our parallel lives"

TC said...


Crows arguing here invisibly through grey whiteness of fog in branches of Sequoia sempervirens -- their territorial claiming conversations never quite accidental as ours 'to hand', still always bespeaking a yet deeper leap into what is shown.

Susan Kay Anderson said...

Majesty is mad.
Where have
her parents
La belle et la bête

only to find
her here
in California
chasing the mule deer
balancing on hooves
of plastic of bamboo
of cork and leather
to their eatery
teeming with tastes
a moment
only the brave
and desperate follow
only the dumb lucky
actually find
before being shot.