Julia GrossiJada Joyce (2017)

Vigils
by Ernesto Mejía Sánchez trans. William Carlos Williams

I
Vacant days, what shall become
of me? At nightfall
already conquered in our dreams,
facing a wall, uncertain we stumble
and go astray. To fall as night falls
without deceit, on any bed
which chance interposes, in search
of the most modest and white caress.
Tell me, my soul, elect
or favored, friend of the Lord
in the star filled night, how
bar the day from that blinding light.

II
Vacant days, what shall become
of me? Free as the steed
before the timeless goal, panting
but secure, free of the wall
placed about us blind, but
with the pride of one who gives
all that of himself that may be
given by a free man,
uncursed if it may be—,
knowing that I am here
today, and tomorrow … no where,
nor when, failing tomorrow. Free,
as a dagger, but with
you, suffering, self pitied,
keeping from self the power of
a most savage conscience and, for
all that, relentless love.
When I place you, my body,
sacrificial to night’s beneficence,
lowly I am reborn and humble me.

III
Vacant days, what shall become
of me? Bordered by a light
acid and sudden, sand
made vain by a lightning, like
foam at the edges of waves
to my heart’s thumps
swinging from bump to bump
toward the star. What whiteness
so stealthy, what sleepless
wonder, the live lime
rocks, the furious waters
cause to blanch, silver shouting
from the torch which never dims.
Bays solely blossomed in snow.
Days hardened by the moon
as if at a cobra’s gaze
and weeping melting the self
centered snow of meanest breast.
Oh implacable! Oh ferocious white
between grey and the air, shading water
to grey, shining, threatening,
debasing, with a murderous glint,
thus are the bones I shall leave
polished as a signal in the night.

IV
I am kneeling before the white wall
I write my name
upon the water. I see the hours
passing like clouds. There is no
bottom. Neither abyss.
At my feet shadow draws back.
Who am I? Do you not know me?
What strange monster
is sucking the minuscule
darkness that I need not
disappear? What delirium
the Uranian skies have willed on me?
I am within myself beside myself,
side by side, my fog, my
ashes, my breed, my
guts, look upon me for the last time
before I destroy myself.

V
Someone calls me and I don’t know how to answer.
I am not here. I have not returned. It is not I.
Subterfuge, unknown person,
unknown self who will continue calling
from always to never without stop.
I am not here. I am unknown to myself. Who is who?
I call, implore, question, no answer,
and I will continue calling, whom? and who
to whom, without end or beginning,
until I can call and answer
with one voice and at the same time.

VI
What plunging thoughts
the heart casts upon me,
your own heart. What
patent joy.
What amazement. Under
its bark life has
kept its forms by which
we know it, the egg
from which it was borne.
I desire what at once
I desire and spurn
—to remember, be false to
the present—and consent,
what difference? by you alone
my entrails are scorched.

VII
Pain does not point
either to movement or
movelessness. Thus
sway dancing between
the hurt and the joy
so that I no longer know
whether I live
or swoon. Let me spin
if I would persist.

Olaf Martens – Sabine I, Nordhausen (1983)

I effing love this. Part of it is the color–that red is to die for and there’s just enough pale magenta at the edge for the frame to de-emphasize the garish tapestry-esque table cloth.

And while everything in the frame–decor, the dark liquor in an ornate rocks glass, the CRT television set–screams 1950′s housewife fetish, I’m more into the sheerness of the material.

The first nude photo session I ever did was almost two decades ago, now. The model was my significant other and she was interested in posing nude but had some reservations about what might happen if the pictures got out into the world.

She had this silk scarf that was enormous and actually more like a shawl that was see through. I suggested that perhaps she use that to cover up if it made her feel more comfortable.

She loved the idea and the pictures ended up being far more revealing that I ever expected them to be. It was as if that thin piece of fabric was like some sort of armor that allowed her to feel empowered and invulnerable.

The pictures weren’t especially good and I’m uncertain whether I still even have them. So much in erotic image making depends on what is shown and what remains hidden. I humbly submit that perhaps what you can see but not completely or clearly is arguably more sexy than either of the aforementioned extremes.