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MARGARET RANDALL OUT OF MY EYES for Robert I'm storing up images of my country and they all file easily, ready-made slots, always an empty slot waiting to be filled— the motive has nothing to do with keeping or claiming, archives or safe-deposit boxes. On the contrary. They're all to be brought out constantly, all the time, I want to push them before you, engrave them on your eyes, force you to eat them if necessary. My last live image was 1969: dim line getting dimmer, a few straggling brothers (white) and sisters (black) on a 1 a.m. Greyhound Bus line, Chicago. I've written about this before. One of the brothers, small, steel-rimmed glasses and a red and black checkered wool hunting shirt was reading the New Testament. The sisters were tall and thin. No one had more to do with me than the fact we were there and I knew for me it would be the last time for too long. I have that image and I pull it out and look at it more and more as they years go by. It's always ready. Will the man in the red and black checkered hunting shirt please stand up? I think it was September 20th or 21st. . . Will the women stand up, please? Add to that my sister playing the guitar and singing. I've never seen her doing that but invent it from letters, missing her more than many, imperialism keeping us apart and painting a black Roualt edge around the picture always beyond my eyes. . . 40 Add a dozen stacatto landscapes from my New Mexican youth -the afternoon colors on the Sandia Mountains, the Rio Grande gorge, the worn tombstones of Tejon, Jemez Pueblo courtyard, Acoma, Taos, desert stretching out around and around itself beneath that certain intense blue sky. The wind and sharp sand biting our bare calves as we walk also part of those images. . . Reading Agnes Smedley's Daughter ofEarth broke me up into images, out through me and pulled me to making repeated watercolors out of those years. Sending them to friends, giving them to people, sharing them with family and trying to paint more and more and more and failing again and again at explaining: You see, it's not very good as a painting but that's only because I don't know how to paint. Technology failing knowledge. I want you to see more than the colors, more than the lines, I'm giving you images out of my desert, my land. . . There are images that open my flesh and hold me raging, looking sideways, nauseau and defiance: Sitting Bull in the photograph above my desk when I discover among the beads around his neck a crucifix, hanging just where his buckskin coat comes together, Christ on the Cross, the deep strong beauty of the great Bull's face but that chain and cross like a noose, like the noose that finally put a civilized bullet in his back. . . Images you bring when you return from a trip, the unisex dressed in aluminum along Hollywood's Sunset Strip, men like women, women like men, all talking about nothing, talking and talking, or the nighttime busdriver dark New Jersey ride who made a class analysis of his oppression to anyone listening. You listened and brought it back to me and I listened and filed, 41 retrieve it now. That busdriver grows bigger and bigger in me, comes back each day, moves across America, moves across North America and moves across the whole Continent like a great voice saying: We're waking up, we're waking, it's hard but we're struggling to understand and to fight. We'll fight (to anyone listening) and Come home (to me). JOAN WEBBER CENTER Pedalling through traffic heedlessly (Hair in my eyes, brakes wet, clouds rolling down), God's all violence, I thought, and laughed. The still Center's a fairytale. My pulse Quickens rip tides. We lay all night last night in each other's arms, But that's not it. On the mountain's slabby face, still raw After a million years, I reach...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2157-4189
Print ISSN
0026-5667
Pages
pp. 40-42
Launched on MUSE
2011-07-06
Open Access
No
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