How I might learn to know
by looking at something a long time,
the way head, heart and hands infuse
Stieglitz trying too hard
to always make the light
exactly what we see:
a planned attempt at definition
not the shredded “failures”
the “self-torture” of editing, cropping, burning in,
the stuff he hid from us.
What does it mean, then, to me?
I begin with some new overblown title:
the gothic mood suggests
Death rideth towards me
and the photogravure
(the grave of photography?)
the scratched blurry effect
of glass plate tech
adding to a blizzard’s mystic blur,
hints of steam escaping a grate in the street.
What is real in a bi-polar storm
from which two horses emerge
toward you, in a gesture of intent?
The coach driver wielding the whip?
The driver (him, his other?) appears
just in time for his century.
It seems universal, like Malevich,
a field of black and white
where no birds land and where
last summer’s trees remain threadbare.
Only in the looking back – connecting
our own coloured in versions
of what appears
in a hint, a gap in the traffic
I can see myself in there
as if in a glance
at a forever –
cold and white as snow.
Notes: Alfred Stieglitz, Medium: Photogravure; Dimensions: 21.8 x 15.4 cm. (8 9/16 x 6 1/16 in.)
- 96: NO THEME IXSUBMIT NOW with M Gill and J Thayil 95: EARTHCOMING SOON with M Takolaner 94: BAYTCOMING SOON with Z Hashem Beck 93: PEACHwith L Van, G Mouratidis, L Toong 92: NO THEME VIIIwith C Gaskin 91: MONSTERwith N Curnow 90: AFRO AUSTRALIANwith S Umar 89: DOMESTICwith N Harkin 88: TRANSQUEERwith S Barnes and Q Eades 87: DIFFICULTwith O Schwartz & H Isemonger 86: NO THEME VIIwith L Gorton 85: PHILIPPINESwith Mookie L and S Lua 84: SUBURBIAwith L Brown and N O'Reilly 83: MATHEMATICSwith F Hile 82: LANDwith J Stuart and J Gibian 81: NEW CARIBBEANwith V Lucien 80: NO THEME VIwith J Beveridge 57.1: EKPHRASTICwith C Atherton and P Hetherington 57: CONFESSIONwith K Glastonbury 56: EXPLODE with D Disney 55.1: DALIT / INDIGENOUSwith M Chakraborty and K MacCarter 55: FUTURE MACHINES with Bella Li 54: NO THEME V with F Wright and O Sakr 53.0: THE END with P Brown 52.0: TOIL with C Jenkins 51.1: UMAMI with L Davies and Lifted Brow 51.0: TRANSTASMAN with B Cassidy 50.0: NO THEME IV with J Tranter 49.1: A BRITISH / IRISH with M Hall and S Seita 49.0: OBSOLETE with T Ryan 48.1: CANADA with K MacCarter and S Rhodes 48.0: CONSTRAINT with C Wakeling 47.0: COLLABORATION with L Armand and H Lambert 46.1: MELBOURNE with M Farrell 46.0: NO THEME III with F Plunkett 45.0: SILENCE with J Owen 44.0: GONDWANALAND with D Motion 43.1: PUMPKIN with K MacCarter 43.0: MASQUE with A Vickery 42.0: NO THEME II with G Ryan 41.1: RATBAGGERY with D Hose 41.0: TRANSPACIFIC with J Rowe and M Nardone 40.1: INDONESIA with K MacCarter 40.0: INTERLOCUTOR with L Hart 39.1: GIBBERBIRD with S Gory 39.0: JACKPOT! with S Wagan Watson 38.0: SYDNEY with A Lorange 37.1: NEBRASKA with S Whalen 37.0: NO THEME! with A Wearne 36.0: ELECTRONICA with J Jones