Reading The Blue Clerk, 149

I was sent—fetched—to the poet writing about the poet. The miracle of her. Imagination survived. No. Imagination ensured survival. And beyond that. A shape of song. In that moment—even in ours—they spoke about imagination soaring, taking flight. Transcending—yes, we can use this word—what would have kept it tethered. No, tethered is not a bad word. Bound. Yes, that is the word. Captive. Yes, that is probably more precise. Something escapes. But not simply escape, you see. To take flight. To sing something like freedom.

She sang.

It is not possible for me to describe the five centuries it took to record this image.

And what did you need to unknow about how to see so you could witness. The words circle: see, look, glance, gaze, stare. You are transfixed, enthralled, captured, rooted, transported—all at the same time. Some transports are more impossible than others. Transfixed. Transported. Yes.

How to describe the history of an image. Where sound travels through its making, pulsing through and as time, and more than time. In its serrations. Hear the edge. And the other. Something is sliced, but not smoothly. Think of how the serrated knife holds as it moves, how it moves because it holds. Some images are like that: holding as they move, cutting so to move, pulling to move. Skin is marked.

An image: another one. A bee’s stinger. Serrated. Is this where we learn serration from? How to insert and stay. Stay. Stay with the image to think with its memories. Risk what the bee risks. (Are we not always risking what the bee risks: it moved through my guts and ripped them out. Something moves. Something holds.)

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