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.

Mariela AngelaPear Tarts, Melbourne, Australia (2014)

I have this irritating habit of becoming obsessed to the point of hysteria with certain photos/image and/or photographers/image makers. Above is the latest in a long line.

It started off with Kim Eliot Fung. Continued when I stumbled onto Lynn Kazstanovics’ brillaint work. Again, same with Mathilda Eberhard– seriously tho, if any of you knows Mathilda or could pass a message to her from me, please get in touch. See also: k.flight, Alison Barnes and Sannah Kvist. (I have reason to believe that Mathilda and Sannah are acquainted. But again, I’ve contacted Sannah twice with no response and so anything further seems a bit too close to harassment.)

Anyway, I’ve actually interacted with half of these people. Lynn and I are friends. Kim and k.flight were much more cagey. I both cases part of my interest in them was the way their work seemed to spring fully formed from an internet persona that was almost wraith like in it’s enigmatic as it’s presence as an exercise in absence. Like I still don’t have the first fucking clue who either Kim or k.flight are and I’ve met Kim in person once and k.flight and I were planning to collaborate on something.

The point of all the preamble is that I know absolutely nothing about Mariela Angela except that the above image was made with the camera on a mobile phone. (I know. I’m with you but it’s legit.)

She won an award the previous year for a photo called The Waitress Viola. Again, made with a mobile device and staggeringly well thought out and executed.

She has an Instagram, but it’s private. (Also: fuck Instagram.) Still, if anyone knows more about her and her work, I’d be over-the-moon for more info. The two images I’ve seen of hers are fucking exceptional.

Ariel RosenbloomUntitled (2011)

I can’t endorse Rosenbloom’s work across the board. Her use of color is slap dodge–running a gamut from dull to loud-mouthed gimmickry. Her B&W work is better–but still telegraphs a blueprint-rather-the-building awareness.

However, short falls aside, there is at least three consistently challenging aspects to her work.

  1. She thinks a lot about how framing transacts with her images,
  2. She favors portrait orientation (and I will extend her a free and clear pass as far as #skinnyframebullshitery goes since even though some of her stuff definitely is, she demonstrates a hyper self-consciousness in how she deploys it and situates her subject in the frame quite a bit like Ryan Muirhead),
  3. Although she’s struggling to bring it fully to bear on her work, she has a similar based-upon-how-I-show-you-this-thing-what-can-I-get-you-to-imply-about-what-you-aren’t-seeing impetus to Yung Cheng Lin.

The framing in this image doesn’t exactly fail but it’s clunky. What works is the meditative expression and drape of the skirt over the edge of the cellar door.

I love everything here, including things I typically hate, i.e. hipster-y fashion, canned lighting and Toilet Paper Magazine–from whence this emerges.

Yes, cunnilingus being one of my favorite things has a lot to do with it and the balance consists in the way she’s looking down, watching what her partner is doing to her.

Add this to the list of things I would love to do ASAP with a(ny) willing partner. It’s been entirely too long for me.