Experiential Ekphrasis

Figures Seated in Mid-Air
by Holly Suzanne

Experiential Ekphrasis.

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Mark Marking Marks

Cy Twombly

Mark Marking Marks

“oh it’s working, it’s magic, each word lifts me up, takes me away from here,

from this nothing; I feel…I am…speak always, Maybegenius.”

Macedonio Fernandez

Writing as the ‘Talking Cure’

As long as I keep speaking, Mark thinks, – ?


            As long as I keep talking to myself, even better the inscribing, using matter somewhat foreign to myself, like this plastic pen, this sheet of paper, this blue ink…I am providing myself with evidence.  A humming continuity, a series of marks, a silent sounding breathed into air.

But when unable?

As long as I keep telling myself these stories, Mark thinks, – ?  then what – ?  why – ?

There is evidence that I am here, he says to himself, marking it down.  Marks make Marks, he supposes, I am, at least as far as the reach of this pen, and I stay, at least longer than my thoughts, he thinks.

Mark got tattoo’d.  He did so for evidence, a permanence.  They said it could not be undone.  So he had them spit into his skin the names of those who had changed him, affected.  As if to say, to go on and on saying, these, these existed for me, in and on me, these folks made impressions that made impressions on me, therefore I must, yes, it logically follows, here – you can see them can you not – ?, it logically follows that I must exist – to have these names, these titled and organized and permanent woundings of names, of those who existed (it’s attested by many), so it follows, it must, with them pierced in my arms, that I, too…

If it all keeps on talking, these whispering names, the sound of my voice, the terms in my head, and if I work to make it real, as an object, if I chisel or stencil or ink it to the world, then surely it must testify on my behalf – I was here!  I am here!  I’ve left my Mark!  Mark marking Mark – a declare!

Or so he is thinking through his days, through his life or lives, through his odd and self-imposing tormenting sort of fear, of worry.

Am I?

To no effect?  he wonders – ?

Mark often fears he’s interchangeable.  Or worse.  Perhaps another boy would have been a better son, left a fuller name, a more remarkable mark than – ?.  Another man a truer spouse and more sensitive or empathetic, more evolved or more mature than his straggly droopy heavy brain of a – ?.  A more substantial father with clearer love and direction, firmer hands, readier tears – ?.  Mark was aware they were out there.  They’d been fellow students, inhabited stories and novels and other people’s lives.  Why were his people stuck with the – ?.  His nagging mark, so often read right over as innocuously as a comma or period.  Weren’t they looking for content not a pause or an absence?  A man marked by inquiry?

But if I leave here some trail strewn round my desk, this floor all these cupboards, perhaps at some point they will see I was here!  I am!  And I was watching and listening, loving and feeling them all.  Spending myself and my worries in this strange attempting to trace and to hold, to keep and remember their details, their effects, my responding.

Someday shuffling through or perhaps clearing out, maybe they’ll stop, pause, question and wonder.  Who was this man?  Where was he?  When?  How?  Why?

What did he do think make say?  And perhaps they’ll find these markings.  Perhaps they won’t have burned or mouldered away, and all these messaging reports, all these processings and accounts will come to mean, to have significance, these bird-routes of scratches and marks, dashes dots lines, this pouring forth of constructing an identity against with the world…

As long as I keep speaking, Mark thinks, possibly –

– ? –