Saturday, 6 November 2010
The Voyeurs, after André Kertész
André Kertész: Circus, c.1925
What are they staring at? Haven't they seen enough?
Perhaps it's natural to stare at backs.
Just as we pass a lighted window light makes
visible that wealth of alien stuff
of which half our minds are made,
leaving us lustful, lost and afraid.
They too are in transit. Look at his hat
(a straw boater), her headscarf (a long
inverted flame), the way their clothes hang.
There must be a hole in the wooden slat
and beyond it something perfectly new
and terrifying that light will not let through.
from Blind Field (1994)
The inverted flame (the shape made by her headscarf) is an ancient symbol of death and eternal life I first came across in Botticelli.