Figure at Night Guided
by the Phosphorescent
Tracks of Snails

Elisa Gabbert & Kathleen Rooney

00:00 / 00:00

The background is sky blue, a sky as seen through the gray of the merest veil of smog. Those aren’t birds. That isn’t a woman. That’s not geometry.

The moon never looks like that except in reflections. All the mirrors in Miró’s house were distorting mirrors. (One adapts to one’s reflection, and reality becomes the distortion.)

Startlingly beautiful, uncommonly handsome—none of that matters here. You should be looking with your side-mind.

The suspension of causality differs from the suspension of disbelief. There is intelligence without logic. An indecipherable scrawl that looks like nausea. Though they’re talking to each other, everyone faces the left.

Part of the pleasure of the image is surviving it. Art, of course, is not for our pleasure.

The setting could be planet earth, though not exclusively. We too are part of space.

There’s no way to quantify the truth in this painting, so please don’t try. Focus on the orangey red, or the pale violet. Do not look directly into the many eyeballs, nor the cartoon asshole in the upper right corner. Pretend it’s a star.

Where are the phosphorescent tracks of snails guiding the figure—can the snails be trusted?

Can we keep the context of the painting in mind as we view it? Don’t take it seriously—that would be death.


ART: Zachary Tate Porter, Jeannie Vanasco

FICTION: Katya Apekina, John Henry Fleming, Lacy Arnett, Claire Harlan Orsi, Chantel Tattoli

NONFICTION: Emily Carr, Nancy Singleton Hachisu, Johanna Stoberock, Steve Wasserman

POETRY: Janelle Adsit, Ryan Bender-Murphy, Monica Berlin & Beth Marzoni, Dan Chelotti, Lisa Ciccarello, Christopher DeWeese, Elisa Gabbert & Kathleen Rooney, Tyler Gobble, Fanny Howe, Lo Kwa Mei-en, Nick Lantz, Matthew Lippman, Aditi Machado, Alice Miller, Marc Paltrineri, Christopher Rey Pérez, Allan Peterson, Jessica Poli, Lynne Potts, Dan Rosenberg, M. C. Rush, Ed Skoog, Cindy St. John, Russel Swensen, Emily Toder, Laurie Saurborn Young