Tag Archives: Gulf Coast

CATHERINE BRESNER.December 2022

 


CATHERINE BRESNER

Photo by Jeff Sirkin

 


 

 

 

 

 

 


 

ALICE IN THE CITIESWim Wenders, 1974, 112 mins

 

the photograph of the wave is not the wave, not even close

 

 

the photograph remembers the thing it cannot hold, the photograph is the empty vase holding the ocean

 

 

in the photograph I am pointing to this event in light, in this self-portrait I am noticing the company light keeps

 

 

yellowed gray secreted away, the city keeps its own light, in the airplane over the ocean I am remembering

 

 

alice in berlin and alice in new york, a stratosphere extending, between a place, meaning between is one

 

 

in the scene alice pulls the polaroid from the camera, shakes it

 

 

says            it’s rising

 

 

 

 

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*** ** ***

 

TASTE OF CHERRYAbbas Kiarostami, 1997, 95 mins

 

the tan dusty hills, the tan tumbleweeds, the tan rocks, the tan silt, sand in the mouth, sand in the mind, a sieve of sorts, rust

 

 

where are you going, where have you been, where will you go, where were you then, from a distance the land rover circles a bend, time

 

 

kicks a stone, spat, counting friends, rubber tires dragged in dirt, rubs hands, rubs back, counting breaths, breathing

 

 

all this digging earth, sundown almost, sometimes a sky empties its pink light and over there a yellow tree in the hill like a snaggle tooth

 

 

no place going, going no place, who hasn’t, haven’t you, thought it, your little egg soul, walk it over here by this sharp rock

 

 

a red dump truck dumps red clay into a dark hole, soft sky, dark hole, high birds, dark hole, dry wind, dark hole, and all this dirt, taste it

 

 

 

 

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*** ** ***

 

TAMPOPOJuzo Itami, 1985, 120 mins

 

in one scene a man in a white suit places a crawfish under a bowl on top of the bellybutton of his lover to tickle her

 

 

in another scene the very same man cuts his lip on a mollusk shell and then sucks the juicy oyster from the palm of a pretty lady

 

 

in another scene an egg yolk is passed back and forth between two soft tongues until it bursts from their breath and dribbles down their chins

 

 

in another scene the woman alternately dips her left nipple in whipped cream, honey, peanut butter, tartar sauce, lemon juice, a bowl of salt

 

 

four stars

 

 

 

 

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*** ** ***

 

WANDABarbara Loden, 1970, 105 mins

 

 

 

 

…a woman walks alone through the coal dunes like one white flag waving in a thousand dark windows…

 

 

 

 

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*** ** ***

 

LA JETÉEChris Marker, 1962, 28 mins

 

time goes by. [x] happens. you still find yourself in January. the world has started living without your permission.

 

 

airports being lovely and devastating. all that coming. all that going. the gorgeous luggage of passerby.

 

 

in the future you will be a better version of yourself. your self will be a curious explorer of the geography of sunlight.

 

 

the past being a vague but obsessive memory. perhaps colorless. definitely static.

 

 

at the observation platform you watch another plane heave into the night like an eraser being thrown against a chalkboard.

 

 

at nineteen minutes and forty-five seconds the woman you love opens her eyes, looks directly into the camera, and blinks.

 

 

 

 

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*** ** ***

 

BEAU TRAVAILClaire Denis, 1999, 92 mins

 

in the very last scene the syncopation starts               pulse                    taps                         the beat                   to the debut single:           Rhythm of the Night

 

 

Denis Lavant is leaning against his reflection           dressed in all black                           holding a cigarette                                     in his left hand

 

 

in the film about war                         the men get drunk               and dance               they make shapes with their bodies                like fists

 

 

we feel it                 this man seducing his reflection                   performing masculinity                     as animal                                   in heat

 

 

the club lights bead down the mirror                             sweatlike                                 we anticipate an emergency                               of movement

 

 

every song is this song                      every soldier is this soldier                                  every discotheque                                  every single destruction

 

 

 

and just like that                                                   smack dab in the middle of the credits                                                                he becomes

 

 

 

 

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*** ** ***

 

NEWS FROM HOMEChantal Akerman, 1977, 88 mins

 

you loved a city once

 

 

the way you held it or it held you, up to the light, sluicing through alleyways of memory

 

 

you being far away and to be both the wrecking ball and the wreckage, to be of a place and to be a nobody

 

 

to witness the four a.m. silence of avenues and recognize that negative space

 

 

what does it mean to exist in a day, to watch the ghost light of traffic angling through a window and to not—

 

 

god help you, living under the jackhammer of governments and internet skies

 

 

but the sweetness of an envelope, and the sadness of an envelope

 

 

 

 

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*** ** ***

 

THE LAST PICTURE SHOW Peter Bogdanovich and also Polly Platt, 1971, 118 mins

 

was the last movie screened at the Pleasant Street theater in Northampton Massachusetts on June 8th, 2012 before the theater closed down

 

 

i am writing to you from the future, the movies being, as an event, as in going to, as in strangers huddled together in the dark

 

 

in the dark weeping is allowed, kissing is allowed, snacks are allowed, elbow bumps are allowed, in the dark when Cloris Leachman cries we cry too

 

 

it is a comfort that poems survive without their containers and a comfort to think films might too

 

 

in the last scene the lovers reach out to comfort each other across the kitchen table

 

 

touch, for godsakes

 

 

 

 

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CATHERINE BRESNER

 

Catherine Bresner is the author of the chapbook The Merriam Webster Series; the artist book Everyday Eros (Mount Analogue 2017); and the empty season, which won the Diode Editions Book Prize in 2017. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in the VOLTA, b l u s h, Sixth Finch, Fonograf, Itinerant, The Offing, Heavy Feather Review, Gulf Coast, Passages North, Paperbag, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of a Juniper Summer Institute fellowship and the 2019 Cadence Residency through the Northwest Film Forum. Currently, she is the publicity director for Wave Books and lives in the Pioneer Valley in Massachusetts.

 

To download a printable PDF version of this page, click here.

 

 

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December 2022.CATHERINE BRESNER