Hysterical Literature: Session Nine: Marne (Official)



my name is Martin and I'll be reading self port mirror by John Ashbery as parmigianino did it the right hand bigger than the head thrust at the viewer and swerving easily away as though to protect what it advertises a few leaded panes old beams for pleated muslin a coral ring run together in a movement supporting the face which swims toward and away that like the hand except that it is in repose it is what is sequestered Vasari says Francesca one day said himself to take his own portrait looking at himself for that purpose in a convex mirror such as is used by barbers he accordingly caused a ball of wood to be made on by a Turner and having divided it in half and brought it to the size of the mirror he set himself with great art to copy all that he saw in the glass chiefly his reflection of which the portrait is the reflection once removed the glass chose to reflect only what he saw which was enough for his purpose his image glazed embalmed projected at a hundred a degree angle the time of day or the density of the light adhering to the face keeps it lively and intact in a recurring wave of arrival the soul establishes itself but how far can it swim out through the eyes and still return safely to its nest the surface of the mirror being convex the distance increases significantly that is enough to make the point that the soul is a captive treated humanely kept in suspension unable to advance much farther than your look as it intercepts the picture Pope Clement and his court were stupefied by it according to Vasari and and promised a commission that never materialized the soul has to stay where it is even though restless hearing raindrops at the pane the sign of autumn leaves thrashed by the wind longing to be free outside but it must stay posing in this place it must move as little as possible this is what the portrait says but there is in that gaze a combination of tenderness amusement and regret so powerful and it's restraint that one cannot look for long the secret is too plain the pity of it smarts makes hot tears spurt that the soul is not a soul has no secret is small and it fits in its Hollow perfectly it's room our moment of attention that is the tune but there are no words the words are only speculation from the latin speculum mirror they seek and I cannot find the meaning of the music we see only postures of the dream writers of the motion that swings the face into the view under evening skies no false disarray as proof of authenticity but it is life and globe one would like to stick one's hand out of the globe but its dimension what carries it will not allow it no doubt it is this not the reflex to hide something which makes the hand loom large as it retreats slightly there is no way to build it flat like a section of a wall it must join the segment of a circle roving back to the body of which it seems so unlikely apart to fence in and shore up the face on which the effort of this condition reads like a pinpoint of a smile a spark or star is not sure of having seen as darkness resumes a perverse light who is imperative of subtlety dooms in advance its conceit to light up an important but Francesco your hand is big enough to wreck the sphere and too big one would think to weave delicate meshes that only argue it's further detention big but not coarse merely on another scale like a dozing whale on the sea bottom in relation to the tiny self-important ship on the surface but your eyes proclaim that everything is surface the surface is what's there and nothing can exist except what's there there are no recesses in the room only alcoves and the window doesn't matter much or that sliver of window or the mirror on the right ah even as a gauge of the weather which in French is let's halt the word for time and which follows a course wherein changes are merely features of the hole the hole is stable within instability a globe like ours resting on a pedestal of vacuum a ping-pong ball secure on its jet of water and just as there are no words for the surface that is no words to say what it really is that is not superficial but a visible core then there is no way out of the problem of pathos versus experience your gesture is neither embrace nor warning but which holds something of pure in of both impure affirmation that doesn't affirm anything oh my my name is Martin and that was self-portrait in a convex mirror by John Ashbery oh my god that's my first lit gasm

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