Feeling Blind

Antoine Coypel – Studies of the Blind


Feeling Blind

“Art always divides objects and offers a part instead of the whole, a feature of the whole, and no matter how detailed it is, it still is a dashed line representing a line”

-Viktor Shklovsky-

“A fragment is not a fraction, but a whole piece”

-Lyn Hejinian-

“Those girls!,” we say of our puppies, as if we know.  As if they behaved like us.  We are, after all, wild animals, without a master large enough to keep us from fighting.  The puppies are so small.


I remember filling a large square of canvas (“large” being relative to my body, not a mountain) with loads of spattered paint.  It felt good and looked neat, even interesting, crammed as it was with accidents and intentions.  Runs and spills and layers of carefully made strokes.  Nothing was recognizable or familiar in the result, but I’d swear it was representation.


Again and again I attempt to feel blind.  Not empathetically, by tightly wrapping my head and completely covering my eyes with some solid fold of cloth, then wandering through a day or night or week of time.  Nothing like that.  I’m capable of removing my glasses and learning the world without edges or shapes.  Feeling blind is usually sexual for me.  In the way I use my senses.  It’s never the same if I know what I’m touching or tasting, hearing or smelling.  To “feel blind” means losing familiar.  I write blind every day.  Defamiliarizing myself in order to learn something.  About language, about emotion, about me and a world of signs.  It’s de-meaning.  Bring me my lover’s body replete with organs and breath, thoughts and flesh, and lay her down beside me.  I’ll tell you what it’s like.


They like to escape, to cross boundaries.  If you turn your back, they scamper.  They’ll sniff and chew on anything, and leave their feces anywhere.  Artistic mediums rarely work the way I want them to.  Paint slips away where I place it thick and neat, clay cracks when it dries or fractures in the fire.  Words mean something else.  Her breath creates an atmosphere, moving particles and waves.  I can smell the colors of her thoughts.  At this distance it is easy to hear the goosebumps on her shoulder curling forward to her armpit.  I feel her hair, thick and brown, around my ankles.


I try to use mistakes.  The pups will eat their poop.  Her buttocks create parentheses in my dreams.  If I stack the pieces just so, another thing will happen, come to be.  Sticks preferable to stuffies.  The arches of her feet never cease whispering their curving tones.  I rarely intend what I make.  They stumble their way to fresh treasures of foul-smelling, old-buried rot.  Her crotch controls weather, I ache deep in my bones when it’s humid.


It does not cease to amaze me, what’s found.  Candy-wrapper, weed-stalk, squirrel-scent.  Everyone’s a critic.  The purposeless finds purpose in the eyes of the beholders.  The meeting of the needs.  The way the caps of her knees taste like buttons of mushrooms, just that tiny and soft on my tongue.  The slogans her scent shouts into my ears, rushing the drums like a throng.  They drag it until it dissolves.  Everyone makes up a context.


And eventually tire.  With ignorance things are recharged.  She is different when I open my eyes.  I had registered warm mango with coconut milk, they’d spilt honey on an old wet rag.  Apparently the “trajectory of my new works on paper.”  She came with a gasp and a shudder as I deciphered her Braille, she had never liked crowds and my mouth was crowded by terms.  No one understands it, or perhaps they do and I don’t, pups fast asleep and me feeling so blind with attention.



2 thoughts on “Feeling Blind

"A word is a bridge thrown between myself and an other - a territory shared by both" - M. Bakhtin

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