Marissa Bluestone

Dear Lover



DAVID SMITH, XI BOOKS III APPLES, 1959

Dear David

I hope this letter finds you well, and I am sure it comes as no surprise that I left I had to leave and trust me I truly truly did not want to leave, but we are at our end. There is no longer space for us to grow together or more importantly there is not enough space for me within the terms of this relationship. So silly in a way you are the one that set the relational terms and at the time that we met that is what I needed more than anything.

David I was so young when I met you and I knew so little about the world about your world. I was young and scared and looking for beauty and answers and you seemed to have all the answers, or so you claimed and I believed that in your singular forms those truths existed. I know not everyone might think you are gorgeous but I always found your way of existing in the world to possess a particular type of beauty.

I mean look at you you are so confident in the shape that you take rectangle after rectangle each one claims its sense of purpose with such intensity and without question. I thought if I loved you enough I could be those rectangles that I could use them too to create my own form that could speak my truths. Like our truths could be the same and we could just be this power couple that doubled down on our essential beauty.

I mean what is truth what is this true love, is there such a thing? Probably not right? I mean what does it look like? Does it look like you? We know this is not a real thing, just a construction. its only real when both people agree to believe in that shared system, But David David you never really wanted to let me in to that part of your life did you, you would not share with me your squares and circles they were yours they existed for you and your friends but I could never be let in.

That light that you reflect does not create a mirror in which I can recognize myself. Your metallic skin alludes to this idea that I exist and maybe I could locate myself in a reflection in you. But you would not allow for that contextual inclusion and you had to make you surface rough not smooth keeping me out and your light that you collect is for you and you only, just enough seeps out to let me consider this atmosphere a field that I could be included in. The brushyness of your surface is rough too rough to much about brushes not enough reveal.

When I was young and I think it still applies now if I used to think if could just get organized if I could just simplify my life this deep gnawing anxiety would go away. I have never been able to remember where I put something, I have never been able to build a life that has that right furniture the right apartment the right studio where I know where things go, where my objects belong, where to place my stuff that I need. I don’t lose anything cause of this constant vigilance in my head but this never transforms into a space, a home.

David I saw you take the chaos of this world the madness of being human and simplify it into shapes simple ones and these uncomplicated forms were enough. their effortless quiet held a life a figure a person who probably lost everything too and I could project that into you cause you gave me space in this quiet calm. David in so many ways that you can not even begin to imagine do I want to stay with this with you and your place holders, and yet it’s not enough and I am not completely sure why. Why can’t I just stay with you and have a simple life together one that makes sense and it does make sense there so much logic in it. But there is no fire between us I mean and David I think it is pretty obvious that I am gay 
and well your really straight like really straight like you don’t even realize how straight you are. And I know because your an artist and all you think that makes you kind of faggy but like your a dude with a lot of tools and honestly your really challenging my own sense of masculinity and its just not gonna work.

I am not saying your not great, I mean there are lots and lot and lots of people who love you. I am not trying to negate who you are or what you do, David I am saying I need room for me too, my voice you know and my voice is just different then yours and I can’t find it if I am with you ok?

This doesn’t mean what we had was not real but I need things you can’t provide for me.

As I walk away from you, we walk together for a while, its like you are walking me to the edge of our relationship. It's as though I cannot imagine the world without you helping me imagine the world without you. Your forms give way and slowly ever so slowly they feel as though they have disappeared they have not I know that but they have stopped pushing into the forefront of my consciousness. David as I move farther away from you, you slip deeper into the core of my psyche and from there your forms are now my forms whether i like it or not time knowledge and intimacy has bound us in many ways. You will be in my heart

Love
Marissa


After I left David I was such a mess I mean I really thought we would spend our live together and I really cherished the safety of that. In some ways I wanted someone totally different from him but in other ways I wanted someone invested in the same structures and languages he was speaking. I was not ready for a total break from what I already knew, and really I was not ready to face my own role in relationships.


David Smith, XI Books III Apples, 1959




ALICE AYCOCK, LOW BUILDING WITH DIRT ROOF, 1973

Dear Alice

I think because i love you so much is why I need to go, that sounds stupid right? Like why can’t we just work on it and I stay, stay in your hole? It’s funny the thing that drew me to
you was this emptiness this darkness. I felt like I could be in it inside it’s warmth and that was this version of love that I wanted to inhabit with you in you

Love is loss it is a hole that you enter, and get lost in, it is a good grass covered roof in the shape of human from. You hold loss the loss that I felt so very young. That hole is not empty you are not empty you touch upon what is felt what is known. You are formed by the dirt that buries the past, and through you I seek to excavate that history, mine, ours. Holes are dark and darkness conjures death, death, that territory so well known yet beyond understanding, and at times loving you felt like a dance between tipping into the abyss while skating along the edges of your body which gave me a precipice in which I could safely observe this void. And this unknown landscape that I refer too is what I think of when I consider what love is, but I must first reside in the expanse between my bones, before I am ready to bury them in your abode. As I lose you It was you who taught me how to lose when you read me this Elizabeth Bishop poem.

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.


I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing isn't too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

This house became my mausoleum my death and in dying I gave way to you in hopes to be saved from my seperate self alone in the world. But we know this can’t work right? Just a momentary separation. Then I come back to myself again I can’t stay in here forever cause I can’t lose myself to you and I think I may have already stayed too long.

Staying with the absences the you summon is just too painful. Maybe if I could stay with them I would be better (whatever that means) just sitting with and being with bearing witness to your silence has become too much and I feel like these traumas you allude to need space need volume, need words communing around them. The unspoken has its virtues yes but I think we need to articulate something more. I don’t know what I mean exactly, maybe not every truth needs an explanation and at time silence is stronger than words but I just don’t know Alice I need to know if it’s enough, i need to know what the silences are speaking too, I mean sometimes I feel surrounded by a quiet that is filled with this bubbling rage and no one wants to say what it is and it just builds and builds.

And I know you understand this violence this rage you obsession with the Tragedy of Agamemennon. I know I could never remember all the details but yes you would tell me the tale of all the different family members killing other family members like brothers of brothers killing in-laws and sisters wives on and on. And how their children would come back to avenge the violence of the past but through violence and begetting more violence. It was like you were obsessed with the weight of history and heritage and how one cannot escape their past, and I just wanted to break free from it all and start something new, new with you.

And I thought you did too, we would be like Clytomestra come to clean the men from the house. This house the house made with this clearing, but we could not do it, you were right the past was there, and as I watched myself merge into this home I became complicite in this takeover of myself into this silence this grass covered hiding hole. Its like did we really even change forms, did we?

Oh Alice feel such deep penetrating rage against you more than I ever felt for David, its cause I could fall into you be enveloped by you, I believed all the truths you offered me I
never believed David I always knew somewhere deep inside of me he was just an essentializing white man trying to speak for me or any one else that came along.

With you Alice it is as if I thought this truth was open open for sharing god I hate to say this but in some ways you are just like David! I thought I was getting away from that part of my life with you but I guess it’s like you love what you love.

But I kinda thought you were one of the boys yet beating them at their own game. In some ways I think I wanted to be you, you took in this masculine identity of minimalism and flipped it into the best type of drag really and it made me so attracted to you. You taught me how to take male dominated forms and inhabit them in my own way.

Oh and how I wanted to inhabit you every single part of you, every crevice, cornice, brick, blade of grass, or slab of wood. You of course were my pre-language solution, all feels no words, you are scent and touch and growth that needs no utterance.

Let’s be honest I tried to turn you into my mother or a least a mommy figure and well I think we all know that is not a sustainable situation.

Alice you disappear yourself I can not longer hide beneath you. I need someone who will stand up and expose their own specificity of experience. Maybe I am the one I have been 
searching for and I am asking too much from my partners. But your hole was so welcoming dark and scary yes but you invited me in and I got there beneath your roof, you were the home that gave me shelter.

Alice Aycock, Low Building With Dirt Roof, 1973




HUMA BHABHA, THE ORIENTALIST, 2007

For Humma

A Doppelganger

Do you mean that
my gaze is not a look
and my clothes decide
like a Delacroix banner
what will happen to
morrow although they
are quite foreign to me
hide thoughtful flesh!

Frank O’hara

Gaze

Gazing done grazing from the field to the battlefield, love is

I just don’t know what to say other then I absolutely love you! I love your feet your torso your hands your face. It’s like each part of you has its own story and I like I want to know each story but I also don’t want to know, you know? I mean i am not trying to put you on a pedestal

I see your imperfections but I like that I can see them, your are showing me your insides and how you are constructed and it’s weird and off and your logic does not always make
sense but I am into exploring it.

I am into that I am into that

I am playing with my ideas of desire. I am a problem that does not need to be solved. You are a problem when you are resolved.

Fantasy, play, dance, sing, touch, scent, breathe (breath)

God you are difficult,

Who are u? I mean your so different from anyone I have ever met before!! And I love it! I want to show off for you. Can I? I am gonna show you, me let’s go back In time I want to play a song for you

a song sung in ladino a language I do not speak from a song from my childhood that I did not listen to then but it’s record existed on the shelves of my mother a woman I could not touch I listened to this song generations after my family lost the language and years after I was lost to my family. I am an outsider to this song and yet it is the source in some ways. I listen to it in hope to connect back to something that maybe I am allowed to gaze at as 
outsider and yet as a genealogical insider maybe I am allowed to let it wash over me over us. Maybe we can use my cultural ephemera to join us in ways where we can both be outside and inside at the same time.

Play song.

Can we find time to recreate each other outside of the ways of seeing that have become violently ascribed to our eyes.

Please push far enough away so that I can only be known to you through what I choose to reveal moment to moment.

Longing craving wishing,
Moving along the circumference of lived lives.
I am following a line that navigates separates.
We are at the end of a beginning. A dream materialized crushed at the realization of its potential.

Fantasy, play, dance, sing, touch, scent, breathe (breath)

There is nameless beauty in this moment that I arrive in, not without the baggage of my past.
May we be patient as we build new forms together from this past naming this past then reforming it and seeing it anew..

The young and old commune, translate experience, battle for power. They are in the same time and yet not of it.
Who dominates who and where is power held, how does it morph change distort you me. Mimic/Mock that power that power structure, that chair, that crown, sword. Your Self is inscribed with language easily consumed and hard to digest. We know these words these commands to look to see to sit with each other and yet it's not the words that cause pain or frustration but the way in which they are delivered.

You rearrange my seat, and the body that sits within it.

Toes tongue, broom mesh pushed into
Land frozen in bronze squeezed from a moment
One which has permeability flexibility it forgets remembers remakes
When I look at you I can imagine, you let me imagine

Fantasy, play, dance, sing, touch, scent, breathe (breath)

Let’s.


Huma Bhabha, The Orientalist, 2007