Word and Object / No Houses

Word and Object

          after Quine

To admit the wing and rotor and exclude the cormorant; to admit algae and corals, denying the lanternshark. Mosses, mushrooms, newer runes. To paint each petal in watercolor and still forget the stamen. To appear abruptly in halflight, wearing the fog like a shroud, like a net of stars. To revert every diamond into charcoal for drawing. To admit the blue rose and reject the hypothesis. Loving the cosine, embracing tangent, the open and the wooden associated with doors, tables, houses, arms and skies.

And what of gold, the lyre, the grain that plays sun to a small world. How east of here the mountains curve north toward the salt domes, toward the kingdom of thorns. What happens when we remember a color, reconstruct it from the usual spectra. Within my skull the word sleepy. To solve the passage of light through mist and smoke. To succeed in reading the signs, only to relinquish them.

No Houses

          after Antonioni

The film was to be about the two of them, mornings and nights with no ‘narrative’ between. In each scene they sit in a provincial airport, perfecting an idle art. Cargo planes launch from the runway, red flares on the approach. In the unseen dawn the wildflowers turn towards the light like solar panels, sparrows drawing their freehand arcs. How cardboard wilts in rain. Today’s montage: I pursued myself through the vacant cinema, that clearinghouse of disabused images, where one assembles from a stranger’s detritus a bricolage of lawn chairs, lampshades, pin-ups and candelabras. Consider this a request for something, a miniature city of paint cans and Tyvek. A spring lily upon the altar of no mythology.

– Alex Samuel Paseltiner, class of 2016.