Portfolio > How Goes the Battle?

The Material
The Material
2013

SOLD
Each piece in this series is based on a poem by Kay Ryan.

"The ratio between the material Cornell collected
and the material that ended up in his boxes
was probably a thousand to one."
— Deborah Solomon, Joseph Cornell
The Material
by Kay Ryan
Whatever is done
leaves a hole in the
possible, a snip in
the gauze, a marble
and thimble missing
from the immaterial.
The laws are cruel
on this point. The
undone can’t be
patched or stretched.
The wounds last.
The bundles of
nothing that are
our gift at birth, the
lavish trains we
trail into our span
like vans of seamless
promise, like fresh
sheets in baskets,
are our stock. We
must extract parts
to do work. As
time passes, the
promise is tattered
like a battle flag
above a war we
hope mattered.