Ekphrasis at the historical society.

Author:Yalen, Lesley
Position:A Scholarly and Literary Symposium - Brief article
 
FREE EXCERPT

What We Know

  1. "A black object absorbs all the colors of the visible spectrum and reflects none of them to the eyes."

  2. Negative space is where clues are buried: mouths and faces.

  3. Gender is apparent.

  4. Gender is deceiving.

  5. None of my people had fingers so dainty.

  6. None of our animals did tricks.

  7. We've been here in weird ways since the beginning.

  8. The one you most want to make love to is the chair.

  9. People pose from a deep well of hope.

    What We Don't Know

  10. What she is holding.

  11. What we are looking at.

  12. What we would have if an iPhone had been available.

  13. What we wouldn't.

  14. Culture is apparent: a coiffed dog, a chair, a bonnet, tails.

  15. Am I supposed to feel familial?

  16. And yet I feel like I've been here before.

  17. Was this image made by a Jew or owned by one?

  18. What happened to it during the Civil War?

    What We Assume

  19. Archivists have reasons.

  20. Jewish humor is as good as ever.

  21. Jewish fear as formal.

  22. To make shadows, you need a light source, and a reason.

  23. It's important to look at people posed, study mouths and faces.

  24. This may be a fake, of total insignificance, tricky.

  25. She is not at ease in her dress, nor is he in his body.

  26. Everything has legs. The world is flat.

  27. My people never go to Saratoga.

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