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Virginia Slackman - "Blue Hand"




"Today at the glass factory I fell in love with a blue-veined reticulated glass

hand. Heavy, cold and translucent, it is not a hand held out in love of or forgiveness.This hand is simply a hand, simply itself


devoid of intention, I admire most, beyond its heft and cool

presence, its detachment. As was Kant; his devotion do desinterest


Spawns beauty like Athena sprung from the head of Zeus. Across the way

men with overalls dismantle an old house-whining power tools

mix with wood's hollow call. I should be reading


Lorca but instead I'm flipping through a book on ornament, page after page of hand-wrought symmetry in gilt and finely wrought intricacies;

the knots, the flowers, the pendulous, hanging and spotted


pointillistic moments of pure color  and form. Today I sent my daughter a new pair of gloves-black, supple leather with a cashmere lining. I can still feel the the weight and smoooth elegance of that blue hand, cold


as my mother's the day she died. I wasn't with her though I recall the March day. I make myself picture touching her hands, cool and a little

blue, the veins full of the motionless tide that just seconds before


had rocked to a halt after the pump stilled. For Lorca, the darkenss of death

is the light of the imagination. I'm not sorry to be devoid

of feeling. It's absence leaves the mind's blue light


cool and composed, yet even it struggles against the infinite which is without reason. There is nothing of use to say about our private

losses. The house across the way is now merely mounds of stacked


bricks-clay and straw molded by men gone to dust long before the cool

calculation of economy judged it

extraneous. The book's heft contains millennia we've strived against disorder, constructing geometry's repeatable patterns-

squares the haven of protection, lines the predictable journeys

and a good end; countless lotus baptizing us over and over in pure


radiance. How we make whole the fragments of reason-a vase, a a wall,

a stone relief...things that call to mind

what is lost. My talisman is the body's enactments: a blue hand


standing in a pool of light. And my daughter's-warm, thriving."


Rattle, versão impressa, nº 36

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