to lie bare

: to lie bare

It rested, belly up
on the tarp, so I laid
the smaller work-in-progress upon it. Pressed,
body-to-body, two pale canvases
raw and touching because they were themselves
not doused, not yet. Stained

bristles stroked the little one’s frame.  And so it went, the stain ran through.  Stain ran through its back and into its body.  Stain ran through the holes of its fence–a residual armor, a latent intention: a woven, white tape I’d adhered just right.  Stain ran through, but not without traces.  Stain nestled.  It steeped.  It made red tints and blocks.  Stain ran through from the first to the second.  Stain was shared, so easy, so transferable.  So became the checkered pattern upon which layers would quickly be laid.

Layering has not been easy on this one.  I am both reluctant and verging.  To hide these original stains feels like an itch, an inclination, and a shame, all at once.  They look to me like a gauze, like an inside that’s being exposed.  Let me stare as well as cover.  It is this resulting contrast between the caked and the bare that has me so stumped.


But isn’t it fitting?  Isn’t it real?  My being stumped by something far too familiar.

do you know those blocky and frosty windows?
you know, the ones in a school gym
[or in a locker room]
giving an illusion of light or transparency.

looking in : the window
the heart : of emotion
is full : God-shaped
one minute : for only a glimpse
and next : into a frost
it cannot see : behind reality.

-A construction, words by Aubrey Strobel


There are moments when vulnerability is victorious over one’s cool facade.  In a fight against the expressionless face, one willingly bares his or her rawest intricacies.  No matter the sting of exposed light when it falls upon a fault.  There are moments

There are lengths when a hardening occurs like a wake.  After body-shells have been cast and piled on thick, one invites the community to speak with the stone.  No matter the weight of lying, still…  Is it stillness that’s found inside a shell?  There are lengths




There are moments,
There are lengths;

This painting houses both; it is the vulnerable state of mid-decision.  It is caked, and it is bare.  It is full, and  it is absent of resolution.   Being mid-decision includes many views, but omits the One: the sight of the canvas neither layered nor stained.  The baring of All, once all is wiped clean.