plume now scratches the screen at

{Monday, March 08, 2004}

scattered thoughts on lee bontecou exhibit at the museum of contemporary art in chicago

L'oeil existe à l'état sauvage. (André Breton, Le Surréalisme et la peinture).

There is an eye on the underside of a leaf that squints at you when the wind blows.

Is eye an organ of sight or a groan of insight?

Sometimes eyes have teeth, as do deep-sea fish and zippers, sometimes eyes have tongues as long as bayonets or tentacles. What comes to mind when the eye opens?

The eye can be green. The eye can swallow all color. Eye to eye, I forget who I am and why I came here.

(An old man with a headphone in his ear comes up and says, The museum will be closing in five minutes.)

Museum custodians line the walls and become invisible, more threatening than ever. Their vigilant eyes see nothing. White walldoors shut the galleries. Their blank eyelids leave me wondering what watching goes on behind them. Huis clos, dreams continue.

Impossible to look in the eyes without imaging unimaginable worlds.

Sometimes: language assuages the unseen.

Eyes that are places of habitation.

Follow the curves of this sculpture and try not to get lost.
I wandered within its shadow until I became as small as a speck in my eye.

The darkness was both an eye and an echo.

(Tourists groped the opening with their eyes. They sought reassurance in the nothingness that was there.
Precisely at the moment when they thrust their arms and necks inside, the eye surveyed their backs.
They withrew and walked away, rustling their plastic sacks to exorcise their fears.)

I wasn't there.
I was an eye. Only. No less than.

In the shape of an eye: a foetus, a shed insect armor, a fist's profile, a navel, a cannon's throat, an airplane's propeller, a flower head, a window.

That part of nature is most threatening which refuses to return our gaze.


Atoms have eyes.
Shifty electrons.
The cunning of matter.
Cuneiform nodes.

The seashell was a primal oracle. My eyes shut, my ear to the orifice. I took notes on silk scrolls. I rolled them up and placed them on a shelf in my library. Their stacks were like eyes, more eloquent than any notes.

To say we live in the age of vision is to avoid the thought of the eye.

Eye is another.

Eyes torn out of their sockets and hurled into the sky.
When these momentary constellations struck the face, it scatters into million splintered particles.

The eye of Medusa. The eye of Lot's wife. The eye of Orpheus. The eye of Polyphemus. The eye of the Labyrinth. The eye of Acteon.

Rather to be a pillar of salt, rather to vanish, rather to be torn to pieces than to shut the eye.

There is no thread to guide the thought.

L'oeil d'Oedipe.

I swallowed the sun and it scorched my throat.

The young shepherd bit off the snake's tail. L'oeil. The young shepherd bit off the tongue. The eye.

Eyes green with envy. Eyes blue with harmonies. Eyes brown with dogwood. Eyes black with excess.

The eye is the body exposed that shrinks from the touch.
The eye is an invitation to the touch.

The eye of mimosa.

Le soleil cou coupé. (Apollinaire, Zone).

A dream of a paranoic: the turning point which turns it into a nightmare is the realization that he is at the center of a scene of which he thought himself a calm observer.

There are no more bystanders. Shut the eyelids of the valise and travel to the desert.
To lie long into the night under close supervision of the elements.

Black holes turn images into silence.

Eyes of shipwrecks.

Eyes of airplanes before the crash.

Eyes of the avalanche.

Eyes of the dead. Eyes that never die.

The space curves to the desire of being unseen.
The image depends on the distance from the observer.
A house a snailshell a bombshelter.

A wartime lovesong: I want to reside beneath the eyelids of lead shrapnels as desire ruptures the dream.

Coupling of biology and nanotechnology resulted in eye proliferation.
The eye was the most sophisticated organ and it was not surprising that the program would have chosen to multiply nothing else.

Thy eye.
Cry eye.
My eye.
Dry eye.

Insects' bodies composed of eyes.

Feeler eyes, lure eyes, false eyes, scale eyes, camouflage eyes, jaw eyes, tail eyes, horn eyes, mirror eyes, prey eyes, death eyes, life eyes.

I traced my life lines with blue mascara.

On the day of the carnival.

On the day darkness fell as cloudburst.

The eyes missed their appointment.

Loose thoughts slipped through the eyelets.
Islands of deserted ideas.
The knots were tied with eyeballs.

Glass eyes. Flax eyes. Marble eyes.
Rings. Cataracts. Glaucomas.
Glabrous eyes. Vapid eyes.


Sauvé par l'oeil.

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