The Journal Petra

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m. forajter

                    take your image & eat it

                    turn your eye around into something u hate /

                    to watch a thing is to own it / like a video tape / like a snuff film /

                    or a double chin

                    what reaches out of the eye /

                    between you & you / a connection that eats but cannot sustain /

                    i see a cherry tree / through my window / you fake /

                    you burst out /

                    extromission / porno

                    daisy / a howdy-do /


                    I say / watch
                    manually exfoliate / illicit / watch me
                    / pray over my own image
                    the cindy sherman lesson pressed under my tongue / my teeth
                    a violent display like your nose ring
                    your selfies, a news clip / a girl with no arm
                    / dig through the archives / stories from Germany

                    you saw you saw you saw


/ the eye is / now / a little hurt / the hand of the sun / your kingdom / a king / familial / a cousin / that
touches back. / there is only the expanse of you / yes the microscope lense / you are too small to
really learn / the sun degrades / an image / is /

to witness / without guile / to think / towards the future / an engine with intent / a
body with vision / the punishing slap of grace



                    Are you crying yet?

                    Y KANT U READ?

                    I am always their sword.

                    I am awake.

                    I am nearly ready to take off my underwear.


(to see & be seen is the crux/problem of poetry.)






Today I had a vision of a woman in blue holding a miniature castle.
The castle was such an exact replica of a physical thing, that an ant could enter and be a real prince.
Every stone was tiny and precise.
The woman gazed intently, serene and contemplative.
Was she attaining higher understanding or arrest in the act of looking?
I can't know, I only saw her.

Conversely, yes, the first subject in our note-taking is art.
This is where the world begins.

Open your eyes
or close them.
Press your fingers deep into the sockets.
A list of illustrations, then. Donors.
An arm reaching out of your pupil.
While contemplating vision, some people may be reminded of the headlights on a car.
Some people may be transformed into deer.
I am staring into my palms, intent upon the miniature castle. Is this incorrect?







In the medieval era, there was a rich tradition of self-representation in art, most notably through ecclesiastical patronage or objects of meditative study. For instance, rich noblemen might donate the money to sponsor a new chapel, and in return, the donor's visage would be replicated in the church. Donor visages often came in the form of paintings on church pillars, mosaics, altar pieces and stained glass windows. In the early medieval period, it was not uncommon for the gift to be depicted with the donor. As a result, there are many images of miniaturized churches and cathedrals, cupped in the patron's hands. However, these images are not exactly portraits, at least in our modern understanding. Medieval art, especially in the Romanesque period, was extremely stylized and sought to depict more than a mirror of reality.In the case of ecclesiastical donor portraits, the point of having one's image represented in a sacred space is akin to having one's self physically included in a sacred space. The image is as real as what it represents, even if the likeness is not accurate. (Might this help explain the proliferation of saint relics, as well?)

Another interesting example of the self represented in art during this period are devotional prayer books, known as books of hours, which were largely owned by women. These devotionals were instructional manuals for how to conduct one's mind in prayer. These books were highly individualized, containing elaborate illumination, and a selection of prayers, texts and psalms. Often included in these texts was a presentation miniature; an illustration of the book-owner holding or receiving an illustrated version of the physical book. The viewer would be able to contemplate their own image in the act of reading, while reading.


The image degrades,
decays like the sentence must
under an eye.

you say: static and/or pins.

Lol maybe laser beams.

I need glasses to go beyond the alphabet.
You say vision: it reverberates into a painting.

I think, Bhanu's cyborg. Or something with purpose: a rose-eater. A girl who dies the night before a


                    EYE :: IMAGE


                    YOU CAN'T WATCH WITHOUT GUILT.

                    a video store is (was) beginning.
                    to rewind
                    think: looped.

                    Uh, can u write it down?




                    can my eye activate? my eyes gift-wrapped to make x ray rib

                    fracture mouth: virtue. do you see, do act, do will, am. my

                    prescription is out of date my convex mirror is owned... even

                    in convulsions i can stutter the eye should be a needle do i mean

                    vision/needle? the implication is obvious. to describe or to

                    straddle the venting oracle. (do you mean prophecy? do you

                    mean periscope?) i mean the length of the path i mean a visor.

                    you have to see. to have vision. i mean i have none of this. i sit

                    down at the computer and see my face reflected in the screen.

                    treason. treasonous. where are my x-ray specs?


                    Conjure a fit.

                    Ecstatic vision.

                    I will finish soon, a complete thing —

                    glasses : glass —

                    barely past my belly (maybe myopic or a security tape)

                    you say: vision. Read my clothes



                    (give over)




                    I think you should stop writing.
                    I think its time to make a choice.

                    Your worldly burden, in all its perfect symmetry...

                    I think the point in doing anything should be in breaking open a rock, like an egg.

                    I am sad about our desolate planet.



m. forajter is a MFA graduate from Columbia College Chicago. Her work has been published in several magazines, including Tarpaulin Sky, Court Green, Queen Mob's Tea House, Luna Luna, and Witch Craft Magazine. Her chapbooks, WHITE DEER and Marmalade Girl, are available from dancing girl press. She really likes Nirvana, werewolves, and medieval art.