from inside out

I’ve been trying like the dickens to write an artist’s statement in connection with my most recent work (reactions to and spin-offs from historical paintings of the land in order to understand the contours of the earth through different eyes– hey– that’s not a bad distillation!), but this poem I wrote a few months ago pinpoints the basic impulse:

(images: Anish Kapoor)

This mountain that we hide inside
is dark with knowledge of itself.

I’ve scaled its sides
picking through ferns and soft moss
and taking in the ornaments of its anthesis

With my eyes, and my fingers.
But still the mass of it is out of my reach
so I take it in my mouth

And press my cheek to the soft ground,
sniff at its corners and edges
until I remember the secret of its penetralia,

Which is this: my center is its center
and both are unknowable and familiar.
As close as a hand is to an arm.

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