“How do I now determine that a surface … has this colour?*“
– Ludwig Wittgenstein
I am just the sound of blue water hitting stones in a time approaching transparent
I am just a tract of blue debris on a river road with runners stretching out from sight
I am just a pass in someone’s path, a corridor along a tortoise shell’s blue ocean bottom
I see that blue
not as surface
but as being be/comes
harbinger of matter
under yards of sea
a barracuda nest
rests, a floor
blue, but I cannot see
Hearing blue, looking out, a fine buttery
transparency: a Mediterreanean “azur”
means bleu — between Antibes and Cannes — whose water knows it is “water”
is motion surface be-coming “word”
on the side of which, clustered troops of humans present
chimp-like grooming — Are looting. I feel this “way” – that a human “family” exists – our loneliness exists,
I am just a woman on a beach
I am just a woman on a beach offering a blue peach to this child eating
“The question is: What must the visual image be like if we ought to call it that of a coloured, transparent medium? Or again: How must something look for it to appear to us as coloured and transparent? This is not a question of physics, but it is connected with physical questions.”**
* No. 259, Remarks on Colour (Bemerkungen Uber Die Farben), ed. By G.E. M. Anscome, translated by Linda L. McAlister and Margarete Schattle (Berkeley: University of California Press), p. 50e.
** No. 252, Wittgenstein, p. 50e
Laura Hinton is a poet and literary critic mostly residing in New York City. She is the author of a poetry book, Sisyphus My Love (To Record a Dream in a Bathtub), (BlazeVox Books), and a critical book, The Perverse Gaze of Sympathy: Sadomasochistic Sentiments from Clarissa to Rescue 911 (SUNY Press). She is also the co-editor of We Who Love to Be Astonished: Experimental Women’s Writing and Performance Poetics (University of Alabama Press). Her critical essays, poet interviews, and reviews have appeared in such venues as Contemporary Literature, Postmodern Culture, Textual Practice, Framework, Women’s Studies, How2, Rain Taxi, Jacket, The Journal of the Academy of American Poets, among others. Her poetry has appeared in many journals and anthologies, for example, Feminist Studies, How2, Nth Position, Sonaweb, Women Writers: A Zine (where there is a forthcoming feature on her work). She blogs on poetry, performance and the hybrid arts on Chant de la Sirene: http://www.chantdelasirene.com.
This poem and publication are dedicated to her son, Paul Daniel Lyon aka “Vickers B. Gringo” (1978-2010).
A montage memorial to Paul may be viewed by clicking here.
Photo: Monty Leman & Ronni Thomas director