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  • My friend Susan Bryant, who took a series of author photos of me, likes this one. Willing to see myself as a photograph rather than as Amy Wright, I assess it. I can see the dynamism of the shot--the terrific blue, the movement of the hands upraised and hair flying, the look off guard. A moment caught between shots.

    A story. In such small space--a slice so thin you would have missed it with the naked eye. My friend Marc Gaba is an artist who lives in the Philippines. When I met him, he was a poet. He is a poet still, I think, but sometime after we met in school, both of us training to be more poetlike, he dropped that road and took another. It led him back to Manila, where he has since opened an art gallery.

    Missing him, I interviewed him four years ago. He is softspoken and knows things. He showed me photographs of his paintings. I told him I didn't know he paints. He said you don't know you don't either.

    I think a lot about another thing he said during that conversation--which took place over Skype and took a bloody merciless week to transcribe. He mentioned in passing that there is a moment when he finds the narrative in an abstract. It stopped me: I never thought of abstract paintings as having stories. I liked Rothko, for example, for the opposite reason, because standing before those swaths of color, my organs tingle with stillness. I lack even the words for vermilion, ocher, midnight I get so close to them.

    His statement and my experience combined in my imagination to suggest whole stories that are purely experiential, entire sequences of events without language. A plane of feeling shaved of reason. Impossible. And yet, this photograph suggests something on either side of it, where no thought rises into telling.

    *If you're interested to read my interview with Marc Gaba including images of his work, you can download the journal it appears in, Parcel Magazine, Issue 5.
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