A clock in the dark

reveals an idea latent in the idea of the seen. An optic anti-form, shadow shapes unseenness into a law of shadow’s nature and imposes its code moment by moment upon the territories that it has separated from light. The new regime is named dark, and within its boundaries hands can no longer be seen in front of faces. Under dark’s restrictive new law, the clock and its own hands and face have been replaced by an unseen, unthought metaphor.

Seen and thought, then: beakshadow and capacious birdbrain.


A tiny moth was fluttering at the curtain. George leaped up from my bed, curved through the air, swallowed the moth in a single muscular ensemble, continued ascending for a moment, clawed himself, swinging, onto the curtain, and then jumped back down. He landed on my head, leaving my scalp gashed in two curving lines.

A few hours later, the rising sun revealed him to be remorseless.

There was nothing I could do except to make a record of the occurrence and then go pessimistic about its effect. Art tells everyone who tries to look into it, “Remember me all you want, but I won’t remember.” Then it adds: “Even if I were not a picture but a poem made of words appearing to speak, I wouldn’t speak. Unlike you who copied me down, I am gone from your memory. I am elsewhere in time now, and the chasm that opened between me and you at the moth-moment can never be bridged. Forever after, anyone who looks at me will become a casualty of the void. Art’s double function is first to fill the void with false memory and then to reforge that fiction into a tool for outliving with.”