Susan Rich and Carol Sawyer
Your Self-Portrait Pointed Me To You Without You Knowing It
You conjured this mask
before we met.
The smoked wine glass and fluted vase,
one faceted paperweight and sorrowed stems
of bent barley, kept me refreshing the screen.
What I found there
along the horizon of your photograph,
was a floating mirror, rimmed with kitchen foil
in which the grief-stricken gaze of a woman--
perhaps the artist—called out this viewer--
half in magic,
half in tarnished light.
We needed a way to regenerate our lives.
Think luminescence and blue water, voices and an invisible bell.
Your face transformed into its own alchemical vessel.
On my computer, a pixilated trace.
Susan Rich has written two essays on writing about visual art, Entering the Picture and Dark Room. Susan is the author of four poetry collections including Cloud Pharmacy, The Alchemist’s Kitchen, Cures Include Travel, and The Cartographer’s Tongue: Poems of the World (White Pine Press). She is a co-editor of The Strangest of Theatres: Poets Crossing Borders (Poetry Foundation) and has received awards from The Times Literary Supplement (London), PEN USA, and the Fulbright Foundation. Rich’s poems appeared in the Harvard Review, Poetry Ireland Review, and World Literature Today.
Carol Sawyer is a singer and visual artist working primarily with photography, installation, video, and improvised music. Since the early 1990s her visual art work has been concerned with the connections between photography and fiction, performance, memory, and history. She performs regularly with her improvising ensemble ion Zoo (with whom she has released two CDs) and in other ad hoc improvising ensembles. Her work is represented by Republic Gallery, Vancouver.
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