Unsaidquarters – Hibernations (1/24/12)

The Snow Man

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

–Wallace Stevens

Jasper Johns
Winter, 1986
encaustic on canvas, 75″ x 50″

Man Carrying Thing

The poem must resist the intelligence
Almost successfully. Illustration:

A brune figure in winter evening resists
Identity. The thing he carries

The most necessitous sense. Accept them, then,
As secondary (parts not quite perceived

Of the obvious whole, uncertain particles
Of the certain solid, the primary free from doubt,

Things floating like the first hundred flakes of snow
Out of a storm we must endure all night,

Out of a storm of secondary things),
A horror of thoughts that suddenly are real.

We must endure our thoughts all night, until
The bright obvious stands motionless in cold.

–Wallace Stevens

At home, I made an angel in the snow for Jesus. The cold of the snow on me passed through to my back and even to my finger. I pictured it that was my bed from then on. Not to sleep indoors ever again, but to let the snow be my only covers. That night I tried the experiment. I tried to sleep. My luck wasn’t any better than it was in my old bed. I woke up in the bathtub by feeling his hand against my skin and the sound of lapping water. He was laughing in reverse, it seemed to me, because it sounded like him over the answering machine run backwards. But he was the minister. He Jesus-named and took his hand away.

–Brian Kubarycz (“Dry and Clean,” from Unsaid 4)

Robert Rauschenberg
untitled, 1950
exposed blueprint paper, more than 6′ in length
(modified by Unsaid)

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