POETRY

Black & White Gotham

By

01. This is a mural.
02. This is a mural in a men's room that is no longer a men's room.
03. This is not a mural but a guide a price list a primer.
04. The canvas primed with numbers an infinite amount of numbers.
05. The infinite potential of a white painting's three panels.
06. White house paint and a black hand roller.
07. A hand.
08. The hand introduces a mark.
09. A black tire rolled in black paint and a long roll of white paper.
10. The hand erases the mark.
11. The hand removes all the paintings from the museum.
12. The empty museum has a conversation with you about progress.
13. First you feel like a child.
14. Then you feel like a young adult who thinks she knows the answer.
15. You become a middle aged man with a beard who avoids answers with questions.
16. And shrink into an elder woman who remakes the world out of dust and seconds.
17. The museum took you on a spiral and left you on its roof.
18. You reach for a cloud and find it's a glass eye.
19. Four minutes and thirty-three seconds of silence later.
20. Word event: a mark happens here.
21. Word event: the mark assembles.
22. Word event: the mark now in flux.
23. Black on black so black keep looking until you see the schwarz within the black.
24. Black shape on a black ground.
25. Black blue-black and black red-black.
26. White on white layered white shade and oil and acrylic weiß glass on paper.
27. White variation endless on a white square.
28. White how white over the white what white.
29. Black on white there's a stripe and it pulsates.
30. White on black we're two chevrons on a bed.
31. Black on white black body white shadow.
32. White on black chalk powder and charcoal.
33. Black on white we're both types of absence.
34. White on black we're infrared.
35. The black and white bookmark holds the place of a snapshot.
36. The snapshot is not a photo.
37. This is not a photo or a snapshot but has become again a mural.
38. That mural in a men's room that is not a men's room.
39. That men's room that is not a men's room plays home to a wooden table.
40. There may be a chair at that table.
41. There may be two chairs at that table.
42. There is a question sitting at that table but no words are said.
43. There are tears on the cheeks of the sitter(s).
44. Plaster and water marks and a hole in the wall.
45. There is a ghost in the room but the ghost is neither white nor black.
46. 5-27-89 reflects off a pair of glasses.
47. 5-27-10 is but days from the end of presence.
48. Paint flecks catch in the forearm's hair.
49. Thick outlines make the black blacker and the white walls whiter.
50. Erase the black outlines and the white walls still make negatives.
51. Those shapes are ghost shapes they are not floaters.
52. Ghosts shape the residual.
53. Shapes ghost the residual.
54. There are many possibilities for white for black.
55. Including the impossibility of their existence.
56. The gray shades reach out in both directions.
57. The gray shades hunt the black in the white the white in the black.
58. The gray shades that made the shadow city now haunt this impossible Gotham.

Matthew Hittinger is the author of Skin Shift (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2012) which earned him a nod from Poets & Writers Magazine on their 2012 Debut Poets list. His second collection The Erotic Postulate will be released from Sibling Rivalry Press in 2014. Matthew lives and works in New York City.

52. Ghosts shape the residual.
53. Shapes ghost the residual.
54. There are many possibilities for white for black.
55. Including the impossibility of their existence.
56. The gray shades reach out in both directions.
57. The gray shades hunt the black in the white the white in the black.
58. The gray shades that made the shadow city now haunt this impossible Gotham.