Face the Wall (fragments)
Our obsession with faces. Why I know. We are trying to read the landscape. Obsession with mine. Why I know. Magnetic relationship. The whip. Fear of the whip. And also just habit. And also just obsessive tidiness. Stop examining something might be lost. They know something I don’t. Look in case. Dress it take it out. But not under the sun.
The furies are at home in the mirror; it is their address. Even the clearest water, if deep enough can drown. Never think to surprise them. Your face approaching ever so friendly is the white flag they ignore. There is no truce with the furies. A mirror’s temperature is always zero. It is ice in the veins. Its camera is an x-ray. It is a chalice held out to you in silent communion, where gaspingly you partake of a shifting identity never your own."
- R. S. Thomas(1)
The introvert is concentrating. Scrunches her forehead lifts her upper lip like the wrong starched petticoat. The expression is repellent. Two minutes later she’s a sun-stroked lake with a charm smile. Conscious of neither.
The one who is tortured is fundamentally one who loses his or her face, entering into a becoming animal, a becoming-molecular the ashes of which are thrown to the wind.
- Gilles Deleuze & Félix Guattari(2)
Because we mean ourselves in the faces of others the slave understands that hers is parched. What will she do with her small reflections? Secrete them in the dark inside cave make a tiny marionette. Make it move.
What we see, we see
and seeing is changing
the light that shrivels a mountain
and leaves a man alive.
- Adrienne Rich(3)
I is a closed city. The inner core is known only to itself and its fixed inhabitants. The outer can be viewed by means of ladders to the high windows. There is some diplomacy at these windows and transience and visitors are often satisfied. Entry is denied. Exit is impossible.
It was years later I saw what height you were and the shape of your body. I let you in by vibration through my shoulder gates the back way. Year of the blind sentries.
Primitives… have no face and need none.
- Gilles Deleuze & Félix Guattari(4)
Be there as noone watching oneeyed. Reduce all yous to a us sliced up for pleasure only because the world means no.
Action is not always required nor reaction. Your blank face is such. At least there’s no lie.
How large must you be to be important? As large as an atom? As large as a hadron? As large as a quark? I feel smaller than these when i take myself out. But the sky may be a lens for all i know.
The face is the meaning, the meaning’s the loss, the loss is the carousel, the carousel’s the beholding, the beholding is the face.
- Charles Bernstein(5)
Persons are variegations on a great flapping leaf. Ridges for colours under me ladybird head down. My feet look better.
I made a virtue of storing themes not names positing the world as a huge kindred in which we all pool. I was floating blind. While the named careered.
…the face I gaze upon to seek in it a reason for living the ‘completely futile accident that is life’.
- Milan Kundera, quoting Francis Bacon(6)
(1) No Truce with the Furies, Hexham: Bloodaxe Books, 1995.
(2) A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, translated by Brian Massumi, London & New York: Continuum, 2012, 128.
(3) From ‘Planetarium’, The Will to Change: Poems 1968-1970, New York: W. W. Norton & Co. Inc, 1971, 13.
(4) A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, translated by Brian Massumi, London & New York: Continuum, 2012, 195.
(5) ‘The Beauty of Useless Things: A Kantian Tale’ from Girly Man, 2002, 170.
(6) Introduction to Bacon: Portraits and Self-Portraits, London: Thames and Hudson Ltd., 1996, 10.