#eye #eye

*script partially translated from Italian
Occasionally a train sets off along the seafront and on that train there's me, leaving. Because I don't want to stay in my sleepy, cabbage-patch village, puzzling out the licence plates of out-of-town cars like a kid down from the mountains sitting on the wall of a bridge. I'm off, bye bye village.    

In the world, beyond my village, there are other towns, some on the sea, others, why I don't know, lost in the depths of the lowlands, on the banks of railways that arrive, how I don't know, after breathless journeys through endless stretches of countryside. Every so often I get off in one of these towns and I always have the look of the first-time traveller, pockets stuffed with newspapers, eyes smarting with dust.

At night in my new bed I turn off the light and listen to the trams, then think of my room in my village, so distant in the night it seems impossible that two places so far apart could exist at the same moment. And, where I'm not sure, I fall asleep.

I wake up and look at the clock. Realising the time, I fall back into my pillow and allow my vision to blur in the dark soup of shadows and speculations. There is clamour inside and out, a burning question less like language and more like the demanding absence of a missing organ. Time to let go, bye bye, organ.

Why anything? And if anything, what? Soon, I get bored with my thoughts and I hold my own hand for comfort, petting and stroking until I no longer know who is touching who. The stroke becomes a wave, why I don’t know, and the wave becomes a particle, how I don’t know, and I lie still, waiting for the sun to rise, as seems the commonsensical thing to do.

There, in the dark, I can hear fish breathing in the not-far-off sea. I can hear blue-fingered leaves leafing through history, and a dog whispering in the distant echo. I answer the dog:

Or the dog answers me

I want to quit smoking but I don’t. I refuse with one hand, and accept with the other. Comfortably neither here nor there, I reject the present as a void, as a time of transition between past and future.

The now is allegorical, a black hole; swallowing and swelling. Leaving only a dense volume of emptiness, all light and matter is returned to its origin. There is nothing new here. Bye bye, future.

Death was easier to imagine as a child, and more glamorous. My eyes dart around the dim room and its vague outlines of stock furniture which I recognize from IKEA catalogues.Morning is late today. I get out of bed. I rub my eyes. I see a ring, hanging above me. It quivers and hangs in a loop of light.

I see a drop of water, swarming with life.
I see a house, and the body of the house itself.
I see the house of my body, the house I’ll not leave for as long as I live.
Look at the low sky, pressing down its weight.
There’s a hole in the ground, the size of an armchair.
See how the given is given,
and that it matters who gives,
and why.
I hear something stamping, a great beast’s foot is chained. It stamps,
and stamps,
and stamps.
Old newspapers have gathered in a corner.
There is a finger pointing.
Those are the bodies that matter.
Those are the bodies that don’t.
I hear a voice, breaking.
I don’t mean to sound clever…
…anything preceding a ‘but’ is untrue
White-tipped fingers fondle darkness, probing the wound.
The back of my hand burns, but the palm is clammy and damp with dew.
Suddenly a bee booms in my ear,
it is here;
it is past.
I met the day before the light went.
When the smoke rises, sleep curls off the roof like a mist.
It is important to speak loudly
To think loudly and clearly
To make the crops grow
To make the seasons turn
Stones are cold to my feet, I feel each one, round or pointed, separately.
That is the first stroke of the church bell, then the others follow;
not really
clair de lune
The stamp is getting louder.
I burn, I shiver, out of this sun, into this shadow.
Now watch how it falls apart in public.


Listen as words fall from my mouth. Gliding over my lips, piling one atop the other into a heap on the floor, like dew drops on a leaf. Listen to my tongue, licking the insides of my mouth. Gently spasming against my palate. Hear the waves of my voice echo, my hollow body becoming spatial, becoming large, becoming colossal, meeting the surface of your porous skin, vibrating your eardrums, entering you. Your body embodies mine. It is words, and it is words and it is always words and one, two, three, words become flesh.

I pull the glove over my knuckles, the firm leather glove, pull it tightly over my knuckles, flexing and clenching, and flexing and clenching the fingers again, feeling my skin and that of another tighten around my balled fist.

Facts are dangerous because sometimes they obscure the truth. We wanted more. It never came. We wanted everything. But what is longing if not for that which will never come, never be? Never wanting less, but always wanting what isn’t there. Certainty. Clarity. Agency over our own bodies. Faith in any kind of future. Our inability to conceive a world without boundaries, our inability to imagine infinity, this is our basic illness.

You could say that we are living in a time that is characterized by a pervasive sense of …

You could say that we are living in a time that is characterized by a pervasive sense of …

You could say that we are living in a time that is characterized by a pervasive sense of …

You could say that we are living in a time that is characterized by a pervasive sense of …

What would you say if I said that we are living in a time that is characterized by a pervasive sense of lack absence emptiness nothing nulla loss want?  There’s a sense of something missing. Do you feel it? This nagging void? A lack so rife that even abundance appears empty.

I am exaggerating. But also, I am not. Days hang suspended, potent with collapse. Look around you, it is already happening.
Who can say whether the sun will rise tomorrow? Who can say they belong to this porous ensemble? Who can say what parts of the story remain untold?

how & when did it happen & why haven’t we noticed &
Who can say
whether you see the sea the same way that I see it &
Who can say
why it’s sometimes a comma and sometimes a semicolon &
Who can say
whether you can think it if you can’t even word it &
Who can say
how to give voice to the vulnerabilities of not knowing &
Who can say
what happens in the space between binding & shattering &
Who can say
whether you might get used to it over time &
Who can say
if I’m touching you or if you’re touching me &
Who can say
whether there can be solidarity without homogenization &
Who can say
if sometimes the world goes forward because we oppose it &
Who can say
whether opposition is only available to those who have the privilege of agency &
Who can say
whether desire is merely a consequence of lack &
Who can say
whether anyone really wanted any of this ever in the first place &
Who can say
whether anyone ever really wanted any of this in the first place &
Who can say
how to urgently undo the given image of what the human is &
Who can say
where the human world ends & the more than human world begins &
Who can say
how to take responsibility for that which cannot be contained &
Who can say
if it’s better to walk in a circle than it is to walk back and forth &
Who can say

what if everything turns out okay

what if everything turns out okay

what if everything turns out okay

Sundown, one, the time it disappears.
Gloaming, two, the twilight, dusk.
Crepuscule, the twilight, three, the half-light.
Twilight, four, pale purplish blue to pale violet, lighter than dusk blue.
Civil twilight, until the sun is up to six degrees below horizon, enough light on clear days for ordinary occupations.
Nautical twilight, until the sun is up to twelve degrees below horizon.
Astronomical twilight, until the sun is eighteen degrees down,
more or less.
Clair de lune, five, greener and paler than dusk.
Dusk, six, redder and darker than clair de lune.

Versed in the Void
By Josephine Baan, in collaboration with Amos Cappuccio, 2019-20