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This article is taken from PN Review 236, Volume 43 Number 6, July - August 2017.

‘time * cache * time * ache’
(‘Ulysses: or Trotsky’s Death’)
Geoff Ward
1


the place was empty the stairs
had marks of old carpet the
aircraft’s trail dispersed into cloud
he entered the car at the lights and gave me an apple


THERE IS A BEAUTIFUL and exquisitely functional monotony here – here being The Relation Ship (1966) – intent on gently drawing our attention to his drawing no distinction between the supposedly near at hand and the allegedly far away, the defined and rounded (but about to be consumed) and the empty (but big as clouds). Everything is connected/ disconnected, as real as anything and yet the mere phantom of a contrail, remembered yet empty, and that is a foundational paradox of memory. Proust/ Moncrieff writes, ‘One would like to remember a thing accurately, but at the time one’s vision is always clouded’, with great precision letting the time of its occurrence leach into the time of a thing’s remembrance. Scale is as crucial an issue for Tom’s work. How big is a memory? The car and the lights and the apple here are all the same size, somewhat as in René Magritte’s painting Personal Values (1952) the comb and the wineglass and wardrobe are all the same size. Somewhat as, somewhat like:


like a routine murder
like job training
like the ultimate in bowling
a consistent strike        

               (‘Finance Available’)

All things are like and not like other things, especially their own others. All politics are secretly more conservative than is ...


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