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  • Writer's pictureThe Blue and White Magazine

Measure for Measure, Orientation 2015

Updated: Jul 24, 2021


Maybe the problem is scale. I can’t manufacture age or enormity; they aren’t in me. I can read, but barely. Modes of expression crawl over each other like ants in the ground, each one bearing poison to the colony, resolute as the knowledge of pain before it reaches home. I rely on aesthetics so imprecise they are rendered best in earth: this ripple of mountains, dark sleeves of road, cross-sections of sediment and weather, lights crowding any temporary city. Or, in opposite, the earth that parts to swallow a woman, a cow, the gap shorthand for the fear that grips. Reverence for beauty is itself abhorrent; these are instincts familiar in equal parts. Yes, we can synthesize. Truthfully, I am compelled to. But we aren’t earth. We don’t know what we make.


Manipulation of substance: glory, suspension, stasis,the satisfaction of arrangement rippling through the body. Stillness: marble cut into blunt steppes, dull with grit, anchored by cable bolts. No life but sound in the quarry, a thrumming whine, mechanical shovels bleating dust as they burrow. Wheels shed pebbles in waves; water pools bright and shallow; wind thrills through newly-formed pits unassuming in all but magnitude. Beneath, though, movement hot and frantic: insistent substitution, modifiers overflowing, potentials swarming insensate, the enormity of reason in language throwing shadows on its ecstatic utter lack. To think I wrote all my life, when in fact I was only tracing, my body reaching, to gloss.

    —Serena Solin


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