Jack Magnotti and I surveying the site at MASS MoCA

Read “Proposal for Art Installation”


What callused speech rubbed its edges
Soft and hard again and soft
Again fitting these syllables

To the long swell of land, in the long
Press of weather? Eyes that closed
To gaze at grass-points and gritty chippings.

Spines that wore into a bowed
Enslavement, the small freedom of raising
Endless memorials to the labour

Buried in them. Faces
Lifted at the day’s end
Like the palms of the hands

To cool in the slow fire of sleep.
A slow fire of wind
Has erased their bodies and names.

Their lives went into the enclosures
Like manure. Embraced these slopes
Like summer cloud-shadows. Left

This harvest of long cemeteries.

–Ted Hughes
-From Remains of Elmet