The Plain

A poem by Jean Arp

I was alone with a chair on a plain
Which lost itself in an empty horizon.

The plain was flawlessly paved.
Nothing, absolutely nothing but the chair and I
were there.

The sky was forever blue,
No sun gave life to it.

An inscrutable, insensible light
illuminated the infinite plain.

To me this eternal day seemed to be projected —
artificially– from a different sphere.

I was never sleepy nor hungry nor thirsty,
never hot nor cold.

Time was only an abstruse ghost
since nothing happened or changed.

In me Time still lived a little
This, mainly, thanks to the chair.

Because of my occupation with it
I did not completely
lose my sense of the past.

Now and then I’d hitch myself, as if I were a horse, to the chair
and trot around with it,
sometimes in circles,
and sometimes straight ahead.

I assume that I succeeded.

Whether I really succeeded I do not know
Since there was nothing in space
By which I could have checked my movements.

As I sat on the chair I pondered sadly, but not desperately,
Why the core of the world exuded such black light.

Moustache Hat. Jean Arp.

Mustache Hat. Jean Arp. 1923.


Trieste

Trieste

Trieste, Italy. Henri Cartier-Bresson. 1933


I Want to Shampoo You

I am on a lonely road and I am traveling
Traveling, traveling, traveling
Looking for something, what can it be


Observatory Time

Observatory Time: The Lovers. Man Ray. 1936

Observatory Time: The Lovers. Man Ray. 1936


Looking Out

The Lonely One. Edvard Munch. 1896

Young Woman at the Beach: The Lonely One. Edvard Munch. 1896


Lost Things

By Lydia Davis

They are lost, but also not lost but somewhere in the world. Most of them are small, though two are larger, one a coat and one a dog. Of the small things, one is a certain ring, one a certain button. They are lost from me and where I am, but they are also not gone. They are somewhere else, and they are there to someone else, it may be. But if not there to someone else, the ring is, still, not lost to itself, but there, only not where I am, and the button, too, there, still, only not where I am.

A La Recherche Du Shoe Perdu (The Search for the Lost Shoe). Andy Warhol, caption by Ralph Pomeroy. 1955.

A La Recherche Du Shoe Perdu (The Search for the Lost Shoe). Andy Warhol, caption by Ralph Pomeroy. 1955.


Primitive

By Sharon Olds

I have heard about the civilized,
the marriages run on talk, elegant and honest, rational. But you and I are
savages. You come in with a bag,
hold it out to me in silence.
I know Moo Shu Pork when I smell it
and understand the message: I have
pleased you greatly last night. We sit
quietly, side by side, to eat,
the long pancakes dangling and spilling,
fragrant sauce dripping out,
and glance at each other askance, wordless,
the corners of our eyes clear as spear points
laid along the sill to show
a friend sits with a friend here.