Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Reverse

–– Cornelius Gijsbrechts, 1670

Although his trompe l’oeil, ‘The Reverse
of a Painting’, is intended to deceive,
one double-take is all it takes to leave
the expected for the micro-universe:

nested rectangles, the frame’s pale grain, the buff
canvas stretched and pinned with tiny tacks,
the price on a ticket fixed with sealing wax ––
range-findings, star-charts, more than enough.

Beyond a trick then, his scrupulous look
at what is overlooked –– details that wait
behind what hangs in MoMA or The Tate ––
lifted the world of appearance off its hook,

turned it to the wall and then applied
equal pressure to the other side.

          from Haunt (Salmon Poetry, 2015)