Instant Triangle

by: , April 19, 2018

masterpieces / luxo-fux colour
put me solid
health-wise I’m clean
impromptu jeals
look me / gaze me
m’ and m’
y’ get spikes
& the audible laughter of m’
and y’ and her and y’
and him and y’ and m’
yeh

*

Hello. Here is an invitation to mourn, unsolicited: your desire.

Or rather, here is what the gaze of your desire falls upon. A stylish shot: a woman stood in an auburn meadow in the tropics. She is placed far off, part of the background, in the background. A round thing among horizontal colours.

The photograph has been shot by a person you desire. And you know, don’t you, what is happening to your desire. This is more often called jealousy. And yet jealousy is crass. But hey, here it is, hey, you desire.

Much is still ambiguous. This is just an instant. One capture of one moment of one gaze. But in that moment, the gaze has been set into pinned backlit co-ordinates and beamed towards to another co-ordinate, another gaze. Your gaze.

A set of three gaze co-ordinates have quickened: a triangle, trans- planetary desire lines. An instant identification, or to put it another way: a desire to be in the shot.

Is this a desire for the woman in the shot or for the place of the woman in the shot? To be in the gaze of the photographer. Or do you actually desire the woman in the shot? It’s confusing.

*

Being a livid and scratching surface
hunter gatherer square in Juno
this is m’
and wish it is m’ & y’ but it’s just
m’ hoping y’ will find m’ here
school was for borrowed jeans
this is for leather
scar patterns coursing through the
ground skin
the lowest colour, harpoon piercing
or look and my tongue like that
no it’s probably not m’

*

Face to face, months later, much closer, you realise she has a similar desire to be in the shot, another shot. She has jealousies pertaining to your movements. And lo! you get on so well.

The wish to bypass the photographer, to rid oneself of the crass jealousy, i.e. desire for the one who made the gaze triangle, to realise each other’s place is tempting. A rationalisation that it would be easy to cut the photographer out. To remove such an ambiguity. But it doesn’t work like that. You both want the photographer in the frame and you share that abjection.

The instant where you become her and she becomes you is not enough. But hey, are we not both desirable? Both so emotionally sophisticated! We both agree the photographer is probably not worthy of such a triangle!

Could you share the frame.
Could you share the skin-contact.
But it’s third gaze that counts.
In this instant. Crass.

*

discover this instant lang
m’ sends mudra to y’ in
shape of the oneness
the gracest and limbo couch
the stick me in this banal pain
needle stuck on tedious anx
the skill of croxing over
into real life
or the frame
better frame or out of
ultimate take me this for frame y’

*

Sappho: “He seems to me equal to gods that man / whoever he is who opposite you / sits and listens close / to your sweet speaking” Anne Carson writes/translates. [1] This is not jealousy for Sappho. This is not desire to take the place of the listening man. This is a moment of fire. A distance, a triangulation, essential to eros.

She must be a god, you think, to stand before you in that meadow, and a delicate fire runs over the flesh; “and thin / fire is racing under skin.” [2] But the triangle doesn’t hold still for long. These are crass instant grasses.

And you cannot consummate this identification with her, you cannot collapse the triangle to a binary, though you wish you could.

The triangle holds out for just one moment ‘till I am green and pale as grass’. The same grass she stands in, grows on, without her, right now.

*

signal work shy nowness
cram me masterful into y’
m’ know I’m not needed in y’
but m’ fight 4 y’ anyhow
and dream of skilful work
and jeans pocket, 1979
the work of the devil in y’
humble? ready? shoes on?
correlations on oh I want that look
and m’ I want more than
ever pursue the lips til morning

*

Face to face things are different. Face to face you realise the simple triangle is still a triangle though it is moving through infinite gestures and frames, flexing.

Face to face, you know you do not want to be in her part of the triangle.

Face to face, there are politics involved. The photographer has a choice. The subjects do not. It appears so. But perhaps the photographer is involved in another triangle.

And if the photographer would walk away from you both? Leaving you two dots to other constellations?

A flexing grid. Other trig points in desire.

The triangle may shift but for a few seconds it is a triangle with a capacity for frustrated desire. For an instant it has the capacity to harm. Which is also a capacity for love. Which is also a risk for love.

Does the photographer have a choice between trig points? If so the choice is most likely fleet. There is no market of sweet grasses. There is no holding back the flex in the triangle.

*

desires occupy the space
in the space between eye
screen and eye desires occupy
and you think them waifish
a-political untroubling
sci-séance lingering multi
pack lessons you think this desire
unfit you reach back down and find
politics and it was best to let
it reach back breach
hesitant crack of fruit light
a bat bigger than your childhood
a whiff knowing that y’ isn’t
for m’, the last attempt at solid went better
crass-meat, is status still hungering you?

*

Social media experts say a photographer posts an image with one viewer in mind. But why do this in a public space? All the other viewers crowd the triangle. Thousands of other viewers are the audience for this image flung out in desire. The viewers are there for the ‘yes it’s me I am speaking to the other one’.

The viewers make the triangle slip. There is an unpredictable instant when other instances can collide. Politics slips in and out. There are other triangles. Other grasses. Other instances.

Make circles. Running around the network of images. Selves. Positions. Desires. Grass. Gaze.

 


REFERENCES

[1] Anne, Carson (2013), If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho, London: Virago, p. 63, lines 1-4.
[2] Ibid. lines 9-10.

 

Download article

Newsletter

Feeling inspired by MAI? Dedicated to intersectional gender politics in visual culture? Want to keep your feminist imagination on fire? MAI newsletter will help refresh your zeal for feminism with first-hand news on our new content. 

Subscribe below to stay up-to-date.

* We'll never share your email address with any third parties.


WHO SUPPORTS US

The team of MAI supporters and contributors is always expanding. We’re honoured to have a specialist collective of editors, whose enthusiasm & talent gave birth to MAI.

However, to turn our MAI dream into reality, we also relied on assistance from high-quality experts in web design, development and photography. Here we’d like to acknowledge their hard work and commitment to the feminist cause. Our feminist ‘thank you’ goes to:


Dots+Circles – a digital agency determined to make a difference, who’ve designed and built our MAI website. Their continuous support became a digital catalyst to our idealistic project.
Guy Martin – an award-winning and widely published British photographer who’s kindly agreed to share his images with our readers

Chandler Jernigan – a talented young American photographer whose portraits hugely enriched the visuals of MAI website
Matt Gillespie – a gifted professional British photographer who with no hesitation gave us permission to use some of his work
Julia Carbonell – an emerging Spanish photographer whose sharp outlook at contemporary women grasped our feminist attention
Ana Pedreira – a self-taught Portuguese photographer whose imagery from women protests beams with feminist aura
And other photographers whose images have been reproduced here: Cezanne Ali, Les Anderson, Mike Wilson, Annie Spratt, Cristian Newman, Peter Hershey