the healing muse

Volume 13, 2013


—inspired by Connections, Eva Hesse, 1969

Lisa Baker

I was searching for a photograph of Eva’s pendulous wires
because they help me understand something I can not name.
I was searching for her resin-coated thin wires
with needle-eye hooks on the top end
dangling from long filaments, open to draft.
Covered wires, utterly raw in their vulnerability,
in their exposed fixed and unfixed states
in their awkward randomness, and union of still, somber isolation
—like you and I are here today.

I suppose Eva must have dipped the wires in some small tin of warmed resins,
naturally colored in translucent ambers,
and gently lowered them the way candle wicks are into melted bees’ wax
then left to dry—one layer at a time.
Resins, with tiny air bubbles trapped inside, and in irregular and beautiful shapes
like vanilla beans or ballerina arms, slightly twisting, longing in their lengths,
or withering boiled cartilages with no blood remains.
Perhaps, instead, she dabbed those wires in resins with a single-hair brush
exactingly, like the old Taoist painters did, or point-by-point like Seurat.

Inspired by Calder, form’s continuous play to motion and to light?
Testing the Murano rod to the furnace flame—
pulling to find just how long molten glass can be pulled before it breaks
and curls back into itself?
Affirming Giacometti, who came to understand,
the soundness of the thinnest line
—like a single strand of spider silk—
can be enough?

And now, my love, what are we to do
as the neurotransmitters in your brain
are askew, damaged by some invader
whose violence continues day by day
in quiet-stealing-insidious ways?
I’ll stay near, and if I could
I’d gently model each tender cell and fragile line
in sweet golden wax to somehow hold them in time.
I’d barter with the spider for her new-spun silks
to sew your membranes back together in microscopic stitch,
transcribing your wishes upon them as
you dream of what might have been . . .
I’ll wrap your precious thoughts in butterfly cocoons,
my dear, and we’ll paint them with single-hair brushes in any colors you choose.

Back to Volume 13, Table of Contents

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