JOEL ALLEGRETTI


The Body in Equipoise


M.C. ESCHER

I am a creature of rooms

Blocks of space caged in walls

Corners tame them

Each one opens onto another … and another … and another

Escher designed ingress and egress

I give their floors a reason for being

Breathe their air

Clear my throat

I say, “I am Joel” [sotto voce]

To disrupt the quiet

My voice a water slider on a pond of silences

*

His family intended for Maurits Cornelis Escher (b 1898) to pursue a career as an architect. Architecture was his father’s profession. A career as an architect was tantamount to a family tradition. But his academic performance was unacceptable. His talent lay in drawing. An unacceptable academic performance and talent for drawing erased his family’s ambitions for a family architectural tradition. With hopes for a family tradition neutered, the unacceptable academic performance and facility for drawing directed him to the discipline for which he is esteemed by mathematicians and commercial calendar publishers. M.C. the mathematical artist never destined for the architect’s drafting table (d. 1972) is famous for “impossible structures.”

*

My voice a water slider on a pond of silences

To disrupt the quiet

I say, “I am Joel” [sotto voce]

Clear my throat

Breathe their air

I give their floors a reason for being

Escher designed ingress and egress

Each one opens onto another … and another … and another

Corners tame them

Blocks of space caged in walls

I am a creature of rooms

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