Jacket 21 — February 2003   |   # 21  Contents   |   Homepage   |  Catalog   |



Brian Kim Stefans

A california submerged

                                                 under the dark surge of a nightmare
            she said, saying I grew up there
                                                              & was a very tall teenager
being drafted as a model
                                        at the age of twelve
                        posing sometimes with men three times my age
                                                                                     they were uncontroversial
i thought nothing of it
                                                except i didn't know what to feel
                                    receiving a glove
                                                                 or fading into a sweet man's arms
learning eventually that i could take a photograph
                                                                                myself
            focusing on darkness, at first
                                                            then graduating to the dance
of light on shade, shoulder on curious hip
                                                                           movement & melody
                        of the contraction of fluid muscles in time
                                                            even honoring my presence
by projecting a frieze
                                                that was best seen from my, only my, perspective
                                    the one i chose, perhaps
                                                                              by chance, but reflecting my command
my artistry
                                       there is "the dance" & then there are the dances
            i choose the latter, that i may
                                                interrupt
stepping out of the frame of the photographer & into the frieze
                                                                                                                  integrate
                        though not to influence, to eclipse, as if
                                                                                             i'd ever want to
i've had enough of being seen
                                                      & if not enough, found it boring no
                                    here i danced
                                                                but cut the sweep into moments, the light into sleeves
that embrace quick figures
                                           that might never have been seen
            or even happened
                                                         i would hardly have time to speculate when
there, comes another!
                                    out of darkness, a flame that is liquid on ash, a glowing
                        molten thing i bruise the focus
                                                      i turn it into waves
or a head in the shape of a kidney bean
                                                                         or a smear of legs that bleeds like spilled ink
                                     (for disbelief
                                                                   is one of the possibilities in the experience of beauty)
& standing there, not quite
                                            transfixed after all, i am working
            i am anticipating the love
                                                     that i have already forgotten
but that will arrive in the darkroom
                                                             the pink camera tempered by the hinge of the body!
                        i played no part in it
                                                               but somehow, one finds the moment has returned   i am there



— For Miana Grafals and Boaz Barkan      


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