The Archive

Wednesday, 18 February 2015


I feel the same, observing myself, though I do not recline in such a
Posture. This is not my voice I write with, the words do not fall
As they would from my mouth. This is no more my voice than it is
My face in the mirror, as Venus and I observe ourselves in face and
Fiction, almost at odds with each other, which is which?  The moon is
A thief, and so is Cupid, who holds the mirror before her. Robbing
Her of detail. She remains transfixed, regardless of the lack of accuracy.
Fact is a thief. As are Aion, Apollo, and Averruncus, Concordia, Cupid, and
Cura. We are all liars, all of us who teach you truth. Blow, wind! Come,
Wrack! This scene is too still for such fury. Too enamored with fixing
A moment as an object, regardless of veracity. The Parcae put me here
And know when the thread will be cut. What of you, Venus, who has
Already outlived us all? When will your time come? When will your
Paint melt from the canvas? When will you go up in flames? It would
Not be so were this a mirror, as the one I write before is. I observe
Myself, and you observe me, from your painting, from my skin and
Reality, from eons apart, from paint and blood, from time, receding
Like a hairline in a looking glass. These are two times placed together
Venus: reclining in her bed, looking in the glass, her modern hair
Aphrodite: Made of stone (not pictured) the precursor of it all
In Athens, which I flee from late in this night, unable to stop my
Mouth moving as I howl, beast that I have become. Misanthrope.
I do not care anymore, but in convex it rips out my heart and uses
My heartstrings to hang me from a tree in the wilds, so far from
The perfumed silk sheets of Venus. There is no reality in that mirror.
There is nothing of truth in any of this, which is of poet or painter.
Even the camera and the mirror lie. It is optically incorrect. It is
A mental haze. What needs the goddess of love for a mirror? What
Needs the beast for a pen? I drone on, repeating these words written
By a dead man, unsure if he ever saw them performed alive
Thinking all the while of how I am told it is unfinished. It does not
Seem unfinished to me. In the still night, lit by torch, we crawl out
In the wilderness, our words as our paws, the weight of our
Bodies cracking the mirrors that line the ground paving the way
To the cave and a cluster of gold. I can almost see my wild face
Reflected in a coin, as I drink my rainwater and gnash at my root. I can

Almost see Venus reflected in the painting, if I ignore the imperfections.

Joe Howse

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