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An Ideal Ratio

You use the word “your”
and mean possession
I hear the word “possession”
and think “bewitched”
that is the source
of all our misunderstandings

I believe Bataille was right
when he placed art and economy
together in the friendly angle
of sacrifice and the sacred
making room for the intimate exchanges
that render the individual
so much more than an object
Emily and I walk the streets
of a cobalt New Year’s Day

Emily lives in Oakland, California
and makes paintings of things and
and puts photographs of things
and the paintings of things
together on her Facebook page
she had made a movie about a person and
another about a bird

We lose ourselves talking
about the paint of Jay DeFeo
about Proust and boredom
and Edward T. Hall’s distinction between
the formal, the informal, and the technical
as we come to a consensus on the ideal ratio

Today, we fugitives from our professional selves
approach the frontiers of our dreams with caution
knowing that even in this deliciously wasted time
the yoke of history is still upon us

Oh the inheritances we did not ask for
but cannot escape
the gentrifying skyline
the colonial landscape
the avant-garde
and our dumb comfort in the knowledge
that love too was born
in an orgy of chaos, darkness, and night

I don’t tell Emily about Bataille
but instead about how, somewhere
a new kind of boy is emerging
unabashed in his love for plastic, candy-colored equines
and how it gives me hope for the future
that we might grow zebra skins
and shake free our own restrictive hides

We scurry back to the church
we enter the poetic interior
to exchange our traumas
in the commodious nook
cushioned by the soft pitfall
of another new year


Erin Sickler

ERIN SICKLER is a soon-not-to-be-New-York-based interdependent curator and sometimes other things with an itch to scratch.


The Brooklyn Rail

FEB 2013

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