all we did for the moon / New Rural Landscapes

What is it like to live with the moon? (All of us live with the moon, more or less, until we die under it.) Asiya Wadud’s ekphrastic response to Alessandro Poli and Superstudio’s New Rural Landscapes contemplates the moon as an object haunted by human histories of projection—not least pernicious attempts to claim it under the goad of nationalist, technoutopian sentiment—and as an object of collective longing that resists any definitive touch (one is reminded of William Blake’s 1793 engraving of small figures leaning an unimaginably long ladder from earth to crescent moon, captioned, simply, “I want! I want!”) The moon, in itself, is not a haunting, except that we make it one: come to thee, moon, by moonlight, though hell should bar the way. (God willing and the crick don’t rise.) Is this a “waxing knowledge,” as Wadud puts it? Her questions hang in a low hum. —Rebecca Ariel Porte, Poetry Editor  

To see New Rural Landscapes, from the series Interplanetary Architecture by Allessandro Poli and Superstudio, click here.


all we did for the moon / New Rural Landscapes
after Alessandro Poli and Superstudio
adoration comes in the low light
the lowest hums crackle the connection
the static behavior
staid                 Duke family portrait
lunar landings lent to dreaming
manipulation of the plates account for movement
the long promise of image meets image
what fissures to the moon’s surface?
what fuses to the moon’s veneer?
questions hang in a low hum
questions hang in a low hum
what if we veiled the moon in a thin film
                                                      all weft?
for nothing
else unless the distance
corroborates the effort
all we did for the moon —
our sincere satellite
the image casts back
a well-worn daguerreotype
I have long lived with the moon
held out for its movement
looked to it during these jostled days
sought stillness in its magnetic frames
I have plundered craters
and brought back their minerals
returned with their consignment
would you do the same?
you would do the same
I once took a bit of silt between
my thumb and index finger
took a picture of the soft rock
crushed a little bit of it
            let it sift through my fingers
I called it “I will heed any object”
I know what happened on the moon
all the flags supplanted in a foul
birds fly at half-mast
the moon belongs to all of us
I took an image and held the shutter open
let them adjust to our darkness
let their eyes find us
I trust them enough to know
that if they found the moon
then they can find us
we used the long tube to
communicate the message
there were two of us
one held the tube to their ear
the other worked the weft
try and sit with this image
take in a landscape or attrition
when we saw the shadow we didn’t see what cast it
just the long, slim armature of the earth
all we did for the moon
while it remained in its abiding orbit
what if we veiled the moon in a thin film
all warp?
the moon belongs to all of us
all detritus and crater worn
all its rural soccer pitches
all its imagined surfaces
the moon waxes through its phases
though still all we cannot know
all the knowledge we don’t
12 photographs of the moon
each entitled The Moon
each image I assume has a waxing knowledge
filmy image of the moon
all that we now know
all that we wish to
adoration comes in the lean light
adoration comes in the shifting light
the craters in their lunar choir
            some fit inside each other
            render them as best we could
            reconstruct from all images
the low hum crackles the connection