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behold a mark, behold an end to time.

Across from me at the kitchen table,
my mother smiles over red wine that she drinks out of a measuring glass.
She says she doesn’t deprive herself,
but I’ve learned to find nuance in every movement of her fork.
In every crinkle in her brow as she offers me the uneaten pieces on her plate.
I’ve realized she only eats dinner when I suggest it.
I wonder what she does when I’m not there to do so.

Maybe this is why my house feels bigger each time I return; it’s proportional.
As she shrinks the space around her seems increasingly vast.
She wanes while my father waxes.
His stomach has grown round with wine, late nights, oysters, poetry.
A new girlfriend who was overweight as a teenager, but my dad reports that now she’s “crazy about fruit.”

It was the same with his parents;
as my grandmother became frail and angular her husband swelled to red round cheeks, round stomach,
and I wonder if my lineage is one of women shrinking,
making space for the entrance of men into their lives,

not knowing how to fill it back up once they leave.

I have been taught accommodation.
My brother never thinks before he speaks.
I have been taught to filter.

“How can anyone have a relationship to food?” he asks, laughing, as I eat the black bean soup I chose for its lack of carbs.

I want to say: we come from difference, Jonas,
you have been taught to grow out,
I have been taught to grow in.

You learned from our father how to emit, how to produce,
to roll each thought off your tongue with confidence,
you used to lose your voice every other week from shouting so much.
I learned to absorb.
I took lessons from our mother in creating space around myself.
I learned to read the knots in her forehead while the guys went out for oysters,
and I never meant to replicate her, but
spend enough time sitting across from someone and you pick up their habits.

That’s why women in my family have been shrinking for decades.
We all learned it from each other, the way each generation taught the next how to knit,
weaving silence in between the threads
which I can still feel as I walk through this ever-growing house,
skin itching,
picking up all the habits my mother has unwittingly dropped
like bits of crumpled paper from her pocket on her countless trips from bedroom to kitchen to bedroom again.
Nights I hear her creep down to eat plain yogurt in the dark,
a fugitive stealing calories to which she does not feel entitled.

Deciding how many bites is too many.
How much space she deserves to occupy.

Watching the struggle I either mimic or hate her,
And I don’t want to do either anymore,
but the burden of this house has followed me across the country.
I asked five questions in genetics class today and all of them started with the word “sorry.”
I don’t know the requirements for the sociology major because I spent the entire meeting deciding whether or not I could have another piece of pizza,
a circular obsession I never wanted, but
inheritance is accidental,
still staring at me with wine-soaked lips from across the kitchen table.

Lily Myers - “Shrinking Women” (CUPSI 2013)

Watch the intense performance here.

(via gaywitchesforabortions)

(Source: cloudyskiesandcatharsis, via kellybellin)

"MYSTICISM is the experience that life is not logic, that life is poetry; that life is not syllogism, that life is a song. Mysticism is the declaration that life can never really be known; it is essentially unknowable."

skysailing

(Source: vimeo.com)

likeafieldmouse:

Kiki Smith - Lilith (1994)

"Smith’s art is devoted to the exploration of the human body, inside and out. This deliberately unsettling sculpture was created from life casts of a female model and, in accordance with the artist’s instructions, it is hung so that Lilith clings to the wall upside down, staring up at the viewer with glass eyes. The title refers to an ancient Sumerian demon, a creature of the air who, in post-biblical Hebrew legend is identified as Adam’s intended first wife, who flew away when he refused to accept her as his equal. Long relegated to the realms of superstition and viewed as an evil spirit dangerous to men and children, Lilith has been reinterpreted in recent decades as an ideal of female strength and independence.”

(via amotherfuckingwerewolf)

humansofnewyork:

"You photograph normal people on the street? I go to photography museums, so trust me, if you want to be successful, you must take crazier photos than this. Try photos with naked people."

humansofnewyork:

"You photograph normal people on the street? I go to photography museums, so trust me, if you want to be successful, you must take crazier photos than this. Try photos with naked people."

8”x12” double exposure, $20 shipped

8”x12” double exposure, $20 shipped

8”x12” double exposure, $20 shipped

8”x12” double exposure, $20 shipped

8”x12” double exposure, $20 shipped

8”x12” double exposure, $20 shipped

process

screenshots from the documentary We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks

screen shots from the documentary The House I Live In

behold a mark, behold an end to time.

Across from me at the kitchen table,
my mother smiles over red wine that she drinks out of a measuring glass.
She says she doesn’t deprive herself,
but I’ve learned to find nuance in every movement of her fork.
In every crinkle in her brow as she offers me the uneaten pieces on her plate.
I’ve realized she only eats dinner when I suggest it.
I wonder what she does when I’m not there to do so.

Maybe this is why my house feels bigger each time I return; it’s proportional.
As she shrinks the space around her seems increasingly vast.
She wanes while my father waxes.
His stomach has grown round with wine, late nights, oysters, poetry.
A new girlfriend who was overweight as a teenager, but my dad reports that now she’s “crazy about fruit.”

It was the same with his parents;
as my grandmother became frail and angular her husband swelled to red round cheeks, round stomach,
and I wonder if my lineage is one of women shrinking,
making space for the entrance of men into their lives,

not knowing how to fill it back up once they leave.

I have been taught accommodation.
My brother never thinks before he speaks.
I have been taught to filter.

“How can anyone have a relationship to food?” he asks, laughing, as I eat the black bean soup I chose for its lack of carbs.

I want to say: we come from difference, Jonas,
you have been taught to grow out,
I have been taught to grow in.

You learned from our father how to emit, how to produce,
to roll each thought off your tongue with confidence,
you used to lose your voice every other week from shouting so much.
I learned to absorb.
I took lessons from our mother in creating space around myself.
I learned to read the knots in her forehead while the guys went out for oysters,
and I never meant to replicate her, but
spend enough time sitting across from someone and you pick up their habits.

That’s why women in my family have been shrinking for decades.
We all learned it from each other, the way each generation taught the next how to knit,
weaving silence in between the threads
which I can still feel as I walk through this ever-growing house,
skin itching,
picking up all the habits my mother has unwittingly dropped
like bits of crumpled paper from her pocket on her countless trips from bedroom to kitchen to bedroom again.
Nights I hear her creep down to eat plain yogurt in the dark,
a fugitive stealing calories to which she does not feel entitled.

Deciding how many bites is too many.
How much space she deserves to occupy.

Watching the struggle I either mimic or hate her,
And I don’t want to do either anymore,
but the burden of this house has followed me across the country.
I asked five questions in genetics class today and all of them started with the word “sorry.”
I don’t know the requirements for the sociology major because I spent the entire meeting deciding whether or not I could have another piece of pizza,
a circular obsession I never wanted, but
inheritance is accidental,
still staring at me with wine-soaked lips from across the kitchen table.

Lily Myers - “Shrinking Women” (CUPSI 2013)

Watch the intense performance here.

(via gaywitchesforabortions)

(Source: cloudyskiesandcatharsis, via kellybellin)

"MYSTICISM is the experience that life is not logic, that life is poetry; that life is not syllogism, that life is a song. Mysticism is the declaration that life can never really be known; it is essentially unknowable."

skysailing

(Source: vimeo.com)

likeafieldmouse:

Kiki Smith - Lilith (1994)

"Smith’s art is devoted to the exploration of the human body, inside and out. This deliberately unsettling sculpture was created from life casts of a female model and, in accordance with the artist’s instructions, it is hung so that Lilith clings to the wall upside down, staring up at the viewer with glass eyes. The title refers to an ancient Sumerian demon, a creature of the air who, in post-biblical Hebrew legend is identified as Adam’s intended first wife, who flew away when he refused to accept her as his equal. Long relegated to the realms of superstition and viewed as an evil spirit dangerous to men and children, Lilith has been reinterpreted in recent decades as an ideal of female strength and independence.”

(via amotherfuckingwerewolf)

humansofnewyork:

"You photograph normal people on the street? I go to photography museums, so trust me, if you want to be successful, you must take crazier photos than this. Try photos with naked people."

humansofnewyork:

"You photograph normal people on the street? I go to photography museums, so trust me, if you want to be successful, you must take crazier photos than this. Try photos with naked people."

8”x12” double exposure, $20 shipped

8”x12” double exposure, $20 shipped

8”x12” double exposure, $20 shipped

8”x12” double exposure, $20 shipped

8”x12” double exposure, $20 shipped

8”x12” double exposure, $20 shipped

process

screenshots from the documentary We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks

screen shots from the documentary The House I Live In

"

Across from me at the kitchen table,
my mother smiles over red wine that she drinks out of a measuring glass.
She says she doesn’t deprive herself,
but I’ve learned to find nuance in every movement of her fork.
In every crinkle in her brow as she offers me the uneaten pieces on her plate.
I’ve realized she only eats dinner when I suggest it.
I wonder what she does when I’m not there to do so.

Maybe this is why my house feels bigger each time I return; it’s proportional.
As she shrinks the space around her seems increasingly vast.
She wanes while my father waxes.
His stomach has grown round with wine, late nights, oysters, poetry.
A new girlfriend who was overweight as a teenager, but my dad reports that now she’s “crazy about fruit.”

It was the same with his parents;
as my grandmother became frail and angular her husband swelled to red round cheeks, round stomach,
and I wonder if my lineage is one of women shrinking,
making space for the entrance of men into their lives,

not knowing how to fill it back up once they leave.

I have been taught accommodation.
My brother never thinks before he speaks.
I have been taught to filter.

“How can anyone have a relationship to food?” he asks, laughing, as I eat the black bean soup I chose for its lack of carbs.

I want to say: we come from difference, Jonas,
you have been taught to grow out,
I have been taught to grow in.

You learned from our father how to emit, how to produce,
to roll each thought off your tongue with confidence,
you used to lose your voice every other week from shouting so much.
I learned to absorb.
I took lessons from our mother in creating space around myself.
I learned to read the knots in her forehead while the guys went out for oysters,
and I never meant to replicate her, but
spend enough time sitting across from someone and you pick up their habits.

That’s why women in my family have been shrinking for decades.
We all learned it from each other, the way each generation taught the next how to knit,
weaving silence in between the threads
which I can still feel as I walk through this ever-growing house,
skin itching,
picking up all the habits my mother has unwittingly dropped
like bits of crumpled paper from her pocket on her countless trips from bedroom to kitchen to bedroom again.
Nights I hear her creep down to eat plain yogurt in the dark,
a fugitive stealing calories to which she does not feel entitled.

Deciding how many bites is too many.
How much space she deserves to occupy.

Watching the struggle I either mimic or hate her,
And I don’t want to do either anymore,
but the burden of this house has followed me across the country.
I asked five questions in genetics class today and all of them started with the word “sorry.”
I don’t know the requirements for the sociology major because I spent the entire meeting deciding whether or not I could have another piece of pizza,
a circular obsession I never wanted, but
inheritance is accidental,
still staring at me with wine-soaked lips from across the kitchen table.

"

About:

Victoria Carpenter is a thinker, mark, & music maker currently living in the Twin Cities.