Slant

SUNRISE: January 1, 2018

From the Clavis Artis, volume 2, 1738, page 166.

THE VEINS on the backs of her hands were raised and blue. To attain raised veins on the arms and hands. It seemed slender and remote; the prize of cruelty withstood; it had charisma. She was stretching her hands across an octave of piano keys or holding a menthol cigarette. No she was typing on a keyboard with the cigarette in her mouth. Blue smoke over the dining room table, trees out the window, the mound below her thumb: muscular, not to be argued with; she is waving a hard peach around, talking. The authority and relaxation of a grown person at her pleasure. Holding sour fruit is her philosophical gesture; drinking black coffee from a transparent glass. She bites her nails; she’s trying not to; she’s playing Chopin. She’s in the kitchen drinking a glass of vinegar. Two slices of rye in the toaster with cheese melting on them. Somewhere there’s a diet shake with a brandname like College. Loose white flesh over the band of her pantyhose, what happened to your tummy. These are called stretch marks. I got them from you. Tucking a pad into her underwear, what’s that, a napkin. Chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo with the other adults, in the other room. The sound of adults and their cutlery through doors and floors. She is putting her hand into a bag of cosmetics and the sound they make knocking together is voluptuous and secret.

He was further away. He was taller. I did walk up his legs and flip over while he held my two hands. I remember squirting honey on Chicken McNuggets, or the version you could get at Wendy’s where maybe the honey was; the stale smell of his blue Buick in winter, the blue light of television in winter, a gameshow host wearing white sneakers. Blue exhaust. We can’t go til I warm up the car. A few moles scattered like stars in the bowl under his ribs. Why can’t you rip that one off. It’ll just grow back. The doctor can freeze them off with liquid nitrogen. But aren’t you a doctor. Falling asleep a few pages into Doctor Seuss. A poem he wrote for my mother called “Ear” or a poem with a drawing of an ear. A piece of food in his beard. You could splash him in the pool and he’d laugh. Counting to three, then slapping me. Tickling me til I thought I would die. I think he was young. I think he might have been scared. I think I have his eyes.

January, 1, 2018. Photo: Ariana Reines.

The Moon is full in Cancer at 9:25 EST tonight (2:25 UTC) on January 2, 2018, while the Sun, flanked by Venus and Pluto is in the sign of the patriarch, Capricorn. In alchemical allegories, the Sun and Moon are depicted as primary parents—Adam and Eve, or a pair of coiling ourobouroi, or a King and Queen at their nuptuals. They rule the poles of our binary code, and thinking about them made me want to honor my flesh mother and flesh father a little at sunrise this morning, although one of the more liberating aspects of an apprenticeship to astrology is to discover and get to know one’s celestial parents. 

To begin the year so well mothered by such a feminine and wet moon, somehow fertile and febrile, at once nubile and crone, counting coin while gauging the mystical questions of how feminine power can be wielded (and would to wield even be the verb?)—while the Sun adds heat to Saturn’s recent ingress into his domicile of Capricorn, heralds a year (three years, actually) in which the notion of earned and deserved authority, of sobriety, of work done with fidelity and care, provide the structure and foundation for the soul, in all its colors and its yearnings, to sing, and dream, and give life, and let the giving of life be its own justification, the art for art’s sake of all living.

I want the discipline of the Sun in Capricorn. I want the sober mysticism and bodybuilding counterweight of Saturn in Capricorn to firm up the bloated body of infant adults sucking at the old fonts of power, I want a world turning toward the lungs of Eric Garner and the heart of Erica Garner, the fertile bellies of mothers and daughters in all fidelity to their own having-been-born, a world spinning androgynously toward the wedding of masculine and feminine within the human psyche, as day yields to night then subtracts itself from night, as night overtakes day like a lover and then withdraws.

This is an experiment. I’ll see you tomorrow at sunrise. If you like, write me a letter about your parents, the ones on Earth and/or the ones in the sky. Or write me a letter about anything: letters@artforum.com.

Ariana Reines is a poet & playwright. She astrologizes at lazyeyehaver.com.

 

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