waving not drowning

collage on acid-free paper, ongoing, 4 x 6" to 24 x 18"

This is how I damn the rising tide; I look away from screens that scream, floods that follow what I watch, click, read, hear, say.

     I set aside the whole picture, and with it: facts, opinions, ads, stories, reviews, letters, obits, bylines, announcements, recipes, the weather, puzzles, headlines, advice, the news. With ink on my fingers, turning pages, with scissors, adhesive, and paper nearby, I claim hands from newspapers.

     Each culled hand’s a flattened reproduction; someone’s trace-ghost. Each collage is the labor of many; mine, photographers’, those who set plates to ink, load trucks, toss the paper near our front door.

     Through hand-holding, I rebuild. Free from context, the gestures breathe; hint, nudge, fly, wink, pray, flirt. A wing appears, and then, an eye; head, leg, mouth, eyebrow, skirt. Figures form: angel, protest, swan, dancer, god.

     This is how I wave, how I keep from drowning. Repurposing what will disintegrate, I make something old new again—as if its dying never was.