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Karetnick & Perkins – Nov. 11

Carrie Perkins and Jen Karetnick traded work. Carrie shared this painting with Jen:

In response, Jen wrote this poem:

The Geometry of Travel Photography
The squares of wood you have hammered
on the walls with an effluvia of nails,
circling the globe from Turkey to Thailand,
distill like weak tea: the portrayal
of neither here nor there. Mountains
do not peak or crumble; waves show only
the absence of ebb and flow; holy sites
are accented by suns and moons so poised
there’s no real reflection of time.
You have followed the lessons,
ten tips for good travel pictures: leaning
into the angles, shooting from heights,
banking shadows. Like a pool player
you even figured how to hustle, paying
pesos for the souls to be captured in Mexico,
buying McDonald’s for gypsy children
sent to work the purses of the Roman tourists.
And for your safety, the apertures between worlds
were kept firmly sealed, feral dust cropped
from the frames. Now sealed in megabytes
and fingerprint-repellent glass, the proofs
reflect almost like truths.
* * * *
Jen shared this poem with Carrie:

Citrus Amnesty Bin, Miami International Airport, 2008
     — with thanks to Emma Lazarus, New York City, 1883

Give me your pummelo, your ortanique, blood
orange from Seville, their rinds silent
(for what egg of pest is not latent?)
the wretched refuse that even should it brood
looks so delicious to me. Oh plastic
colossus, criollo of terror, guarding
the American terminal from fringe
exotics crashing our domestic
scene, I thank you when lines at Miami
Subs or the modified Versailles counter
move as if at a passport agency,
and my flight out to another shore
is delayed, my hunger ancient, if free,
and peel the fruit beside the runway door.


In response, Carrie painted this untitled work:
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