Thursday, March 27, 2008

Where You Find Me, You Find Me Not

Today I came upon an artist whose work I find thrilling to say the least. His composite photos are romantic, nostalgic, and slightly disturbing. Jamie Baldridge's photography is the perfect companion to Odd Nerdrum's painting if I ever saw one. Both utilize dark, surreal, moody landscapes that draw the viewer in like some voyeur peering through a peephole into the mind of an anonymous cataloger who spends his time collecting specimens of the human subconscious with a magic time machine.

(Displayed Image: "Chaos Counter". Jamie Baldridge. Visit Modernbrook Gallery for purchasing information.)

Today's post titled after one of my favorite poems by A.R. Ammons.

Singling & Doubling Together

My nature singing in me is your nature singing:
you have means to veer down, filter through,
and, coming in,
harden into vines that break back with leaves,
so that when the wind stirs
I know you are there and I hear you in leafspeech,

though of course back into your heightenings I
can never follow: you are there beyond
tracings flesh can take,
and farther away surrounding and informing the systems,
you are as if nothing, and
where you are least knowable I celebrate you most

or here most when near dusk the pheasant squawks and
lofts at a sharp angle to the roost cedar,
I catch in the angle of that ascent,
in the justness of that event your pheasant nature,
and when dusk settles, the bushes creak and
snap in their natures with your creaking

and snapping nature: I catch the impact and turn
it back: cut the grass and pick up branches
under the elm, rise to the several tendernesses
and griefs, and you will fail me only as from the still
of your great high otherness you fail all things,
somewhere to lift things up, if not those things again:

even you risked all the way into the taking on of shape
and time fail and fail with me, as me,
and going hence with me know the going hence
and in the cries of that pain it is you crying and
you know of it and it is my pain, my tears, my loss--
what but grace

have I to bear in every motion,
embracing or turning away, staggering or standing still,
while your settled kingdom sways in the distillations of light
and plunders down into the darkness with me
and comes nowhere up again but changed into your
singing nature when I need sing my nature nevermore.

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