by Christine Shan Shan Hou
When we drift we dream: such awakenings demand presence or awareness of being on the other side.
In Everything You See, there is a thought to form, a decision to scatter as a means of making a whole, integrated space.
Imagine a diorama with a front and backside. They are meeting for the first time.
The women lounge on their sides looking at us from outer space.
Because they are looking at me, I feel far away, like the sea or the sun. From this vantage point, I see that some bodies are to be left alone.
There is nothing wrong with being alone, like there is nothing wrong with a dancer wearing a tutu made of plastic wrap. When she walks, she crinkles.
Newton’s cradle is reenacted with a pair of arms. Energy is transferred from one arm to the other in a single clap.
An alien appears with her hand clamped over her forehead like a claw. Her name is Vicky Shick.
A table rotates on a girl’s hand in space, specifically outer space.
Group dynamics in a costume party are often fervid & relevant: girls gossiping at a slumber party, children running around the schoolyard in a predictable yet exciting game of tag.
When the children are fatigued, they rest, leaning on each other or the parts of a church.
Leaning is never forever as waiting is a natural state of being, subjective, of course.
I name each body after each planet, including Pluto. Then there’s Vicky Shick.
Is naming a form of distraction? Do I prefer one side of the diorama to the other? Do I prefer one drama queen to another?
Behind a curtain, girls look at boys being boys. The curtain is sheer grey fabric, tree bark texture.
One cannot see through a tree, just as one cannot see through an act of intimacy. The phrase “different but equal” does not apply.
There are several girls shining incandescently, producing a drifting sensation.
Seeing dictates pleasure. Pleasure is not always clean.
Christine Shan Shan Hou is a poet, artist, and critic living in Brooklyn, New York.