Thomas Hummel

The eye travels paths cut out for it in work. 


What is left to misinterpret: nothing else
except time, again, the way to circumscribe
involvement and experience and one stunted
by himself—how to dehumanize the
voice which is this purpose, this causal year
the year from now to when it isn’t so much

year as it is house and house in home
performance where a window is the window
showing what in want went wrong.
The primary figure is repeated
without end; permanence waves a hand
when it is pause and blame and listen

to the vagueness that that vagueness forms
infirm around him, shapes more sad
with explanation. It (the sadness) keeps
expanding into objects which imply
a humanness of faults, suggesting that in color
they have elemental meaning seen

in pasts demanded, speaking in the
memory here or that and they know now
that by suggestion they can break
a silence too impossible to flee. 
Nothing can be said which isn’t true.
The fever of duration is an endlessness

which falters while remaining absolutely
inexhausted. It is a voice one hears. Between
near water where its seen and all the water
farther with reflection, there is a doubtful space
when one trains the eye for near or far. 
And something in that voice describes

a caution, convolutions of the purpose
outside of his own noise, another body
without rest, another body at a distance so slight
it is impossible to distinguish what in want
resembles them and is as such the actual
intersection of desire and appearance or

a deletion of its two distinct perspectives.
Another trap presents itself: the background
can’t be hidden. Because it rests on nothing. 
Because it is the all else all else rests upon.
A new red door on that same old house
still opens on that house, still holds the

evident and the awkwardness at the
lying which says this was the inevitable
conclusion, that she’s better off now anyhow. 
All the while that hand keeps waving.
It is adaptability in form, clear and inward
variation. Position deviation. The various

elements of a picture, split and combined,
reveal its substance, contrast, and at the same time
distortion, how particular need debilitates
the language of a want. The languages of want
in wholly separate voices. Here then is
a brick shaped body, just at the edge of the water.


A tall plant of generality.

If one should sit down in a room
before a glass window, she could
if she looked out of one eye only
keeping her head still, trace upon
the intuition. The half-intended, half-
discerned entity of the generally more
concealable purpose of what confines
without denying, the strictness of condition
which isn’t a question of certainty or
uncertainty, but the concept which usurps
the potential conception of fixed limits
which demand a uniformity of behavior.
A perspective projection of past houses or other
objects once known, outside, to be hers and lost
by time, by making all the lines of her
perspective coincide with real lines
outside: in other words, each point
bears relation to an indestructible
vestige of how we felt when we said
“how” or “notwithstanding.”  Efforts
somewhere forward, gestures somehow lacking.
A choice of want that yields an instant
then admission, tall grass on water. Auxiliary
constructions representing promise
of adherence to a form of expression
that, though she makes no picture of it, she can
always remember. And yet, as always
happens, there will come a moment when she
imagines certain facts as otherwise, describes
them as otherwise and can no longer imagine
the application of concepts, because the rules
for application have no analogue
in new circumstance. She could say
that ever since she heard waves begin
again once more in bright air, remembrances
of girlhood, brown wasps, and broken
vessels have all become the error and the future
of bright air, and the life of a wave is not
once more to the lake, but a stranger
in the periodic table. A distant lit scene
blurred by distance. Meaning: permanence
narrows as though by sunlight or beginnings.
The glass part, on the glass, of a straight line
drawn from the corresponding point of the real
object to the pupil of the eye, forms
a bridge to the empirical self. Having made
the trace, she would find that every
sphere of sense, every intermittent
stimulus, if she moved her head ever
so little, would no longer fit over real things.
The surface of the glass need not even be plane.
When curved, she is aware of passage,
of relation; transitions from it or between it
and also something else. The resting places—
whose peculiarity is that they can be
held before the mind for an indefinite
time, and contemplated without changing—
emerge and are, most often, occupied by sense
imaginations. Let her imagine a picture
story in schematic pictures, and thus more
akin to narratives in a language than
a series of realistic pictures. And a sentence
in her word-language approximates
a picture in this picture language
much more closely than she thinks.
Reflections in water. Reflections in calm
water. A schematic wave of very simple
construction is formed and its reflections
considered, which, reflections being limits
of those real wave forms and always close
to them, are a sufficient guide for pictorial
purposes. Remember too, she doesn’t have to
translate such pictures into realistic ones
in order to understand them, any more
than she ever translates photographs or films
into colored pictures—suppose she were to say
at this point: “Something is a picture only in
a picture language?” If holding her head still
again and in place, the glass frame could be
removed from the window, glass brought
closer to the eye, still tracing back to intuition—
who could pick apart the nameless feelings?
Who is aware of parts as played by feelings
enervated, and suggestions of exertion in
her judgments of distance, shape and size?
It is significant that the word “design”
has double meaning. It signifies purpose
and arrangement, modes of composition.
Continuity can be arranged, manufactured.
There is no mathematical impossibility
in making a picture wider than the eye
can see it all at once, but a very wide picture
so made, is ugly. But it must be understood:
the relation between the size of objects
drawn and then the size of drawings has to do
with the eye’s distance, from them and from
the picture, and nothing to do with how
much of the view you choose to intercept
in the frame. She can now find the place
on the picture of the floor of intuition
set upon the real floor by drawing them
in real squares. She now readily perceives
the unextraordinary horizon, understanding
shore to shore and how it is with measurement
she can create, point by point, perspective
drawings of anything she can measure.
Architecture in the architectural. Cluttering up
the nothing. She sees how to overcome
the difficulties of pragmatism, which does not
come under our universal perspective rule.
She is now ready to measure the place
of any point in thought in real objects
before her, and put it in correct perspective
on the plane. Everyone must have
noticed on the sides of boats or rocks
when the sun is shining and the water in
motion, never ending processions of bright
points and lines, lines twisting into various
shapes, now going, then a kind of dancing
in violent fashion. Every impulsion as
impulsion. The turning toward light
eyes which render setting superficial.
January burying. Positioning the pattern of
this awkward near likeness. She calls accident
the result of complex reactions of unknown
factors, or of the numerous little neglected parts
of factors, the principal parts of which she
could have, in theory, combined to deduce laws.
Accidentals then are simply things
beyond us. Greater knowledge reduces
them, but only infinite knowledge could
eliminate them. If she is able to remain
always ready to sacrifice the picturesque
to the conventional to gain clarity and
uniformity of treatment, then she will
suppose the light to come from left
to right, from above and downward, from before
behind at such drastic degrees of slope
that it makes an angle in all three planes
of projection. Traverses the room from corner
to corner. She does not confine herself
to direction. Neither does she confine
herself to sunlight or sunlight whose rays
are parallel, but may choose to show
shadows falling from a candle as the
source of light, the shadows in this case
being probably much larger than the
objects casting them. Or the light
source may be as a window, larger
than the object represented, and then
the shadow thrown by the objects will
be less than actual objects. The law of such
reflection is simple. The limit of the body
helps the runner. She may vary the waves
as she chooses, taking care not to overstep
the limits she set up in her schematic
wave. Much as the waves may vary, there is
a certain likeness between them all.
When the surface of the water comes
very close to her, the reflection diminishes,
she begins to see things beneath the surface.
If then this, this disposing of reflections
in calm water, she must examine reflections
when the water has been thrown into
waves. It does not merely set impulsion on
its way to consciousness, but discourages
the one who lacks reflection. There again in
calm water. Each wave being curved has
an infinity of planes which could not all be
examined separately; but some of these
planes, from their marking limits, are more
interesting than others, and she may completely
simplify the as-yet empirical data by assuming
for the present that it is made up
of level planes and the tangent planes making
the greatest departure from the level.
She stands twigs in the shore beside her.
She knows now what kids call conversation
in black laughs. It’s standing twigs in the shore
beside her. An average landscape without sound.
Such simplified waveforms do not depart
so very far from the real ones, needing only
a little cutting off from remembrance
with a little filling up of everything absent. 
Only when the constituent parts of a whole
have the unique end of contributing to the
consummation of a conscious experience
do design and shape lose superimposed
character, intuition, and become form.