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In an essay on Joseph Cornells shadow boxes, Mary Ann Caws writes: The memory and the prophecy are not different: we must remember to remember. Whether familiar with or new to her work, one immediately encounters, here, the infinitive: the not yet that is and from where all else will come. More than just the genius of art criticism, more than merely a marvelous instance which is the surrealists desire to keep intact, this single line of poetrypenned more than twenty years agoremains one of the very principles of her poetics. Like Cornells Proustian remembrances, Bretons haunting Who am I? and Chars aphoristic-elliptical enjoinders, Mary Ann Caws makes us aware that lifethat primordial passagemust be looked at anew and with ever-renewed looking, if we are ever to see the red chili pepper affixed with wings that form the dragonfly, or fall madly in love and at the same time lovingly into madness.
This is how the mind degenerates How the world reverts to simpler forms. Somewhere, close behind me, is the echo of a woman’s voice I dismantle each word as it reaches me, patterning syllables into curves of miscellaneous gradients along the walls of my asylum.