Kristina Jipson

Introduced by
Stephanie Anderson

“...a flux / so constant...” Of sound and image, relentless yet delicate. Not linear—a fluid fumbling. As crystallization, as wood grain, as flight patterned. Follow, be guided, through. Kristina Jipson's work reminds us of how formal rigor can open into the natural exquisite. [SA]



Our identical words might constitute two
          ways of framing: ours,
the pines seen round the outside so near
          together in their action
against the dark; ours, our similar parts
          left together in that room
ringed by its distance from the pines.
          We would make good
pictures of our sometimes accidental searches
          as we would make good

of what is faint or dark in the pictures. Hands,
          the pines, cracks less visible
in the wood than in bright arcs radiating
          white over the glass. We shut
out by effort our awareness of what little
          variation in light that room gave
to cue us and watched the white to white
          passing as intensification
suggesting collection, a mounting on itself
          the contents of that sky

separating us from the rim. Our nearly touching
          features, no less objects
than drawn splashes across that sky, waxed
          damp in their resisting
the over-whiteness as water resists submergence
          within itself. The pines
as the glass supported around us fully or partially
          submerged us into a flux
so constant as to allow no difference to pierce
          those walls we thought permeable.

The frame: our static postures there behind
          the glass choosing not one
course over another but one course after another
          in succession like the thickening
of our exhalations slowly raising a descending
          force against the house.  
But we could move our bodies. We could
          choose whether and how much
to be immersed. There only through our
          deliberate seeing as: hands, the pines,

that room for our coming slowly to consider
          what it is we may have wanted
to ask. Whether if we could not find
          sensible sounding sounds
with which to describe our experiences we must
          feel in our embarrassed way
our experiences to be beyond the range
          of sensible. Our making
impulse was to realize, to make back from
          our realizations the pines

acting blackly around the house to give us
          far off even in our wondering
at our strikes against the white to prove
          their darkness was an edge.
It was too many ways at once. We to start
          would agree to start which was
less than how to do it. We could imagine well
          motions more intimate;
the pines, definite, given by our hands to replicate
          for our pictures our touches

gentle against the wood. Or we to sunlight
          before their action and increasing
the depth of our excitement with each increase
          of red light by sunlight falling
upon the wood. It was hard to feel: hands,
          red light, projection of ourselves
into the pines to try sensations of being part.
          Or going outside in the usual way.
Through the door instead of the glass—
          our first action being a revival

of the house around us—stairs, floors, walls
          more wood than green
in their persisting in their arrangement
          despite the lack of our attention
to sustain them. We to air lights, pictures,
          what goes active in the wood,
loosed plural again our rooms into bark
          restored by its being true
bark, no longer active but holding beneath it
          layers more active than our hands

within it, moving.  Ours to fear: brown rings
          as bent, film brown to shade,
the pines unframed by our casting centers
          on their centers as we saw them
in the wood. But we were doing something.
          We shifted limbs to disorder—
frames, points, the pictures vague as branches
          tracing cuts throughout the pines.
We with water would wash them blue to varied
          ground beneath the canopy, to shade

lights beneath our hands; we internal responding
          to capture would blue-light
capture with our care for those small branches
          then easily cut through by contemplation
of what could be sharper in the pictures. Hands,
          rings—it grew later. And the canopy
must be black and rapid with height against the far
          red of that light that would pass
as through veins to clear the vessels of some weight,
          some dangerous stay within

the stem stuck upright so forward and rigid
          as if in fear of what yet
would move it. We would move it. We redder
          beneath than within would need
that blue going darker as we needed air
          against our cuts to cure
the pictures of the pines, cracks, sun-flecks
          over our seeing not blue light
housing the window formed by the frame we
          formed to frame it, but instead

those hands beside us, still worried. Still
          indoors. Our senses from
outside would be to one another as eyes apart
          but looking right up close
at their apartness and widening, not at the trees
          as they saw them beneath
the glass, but at the pines as we held them fast
          to black collecting evening meanings
inside us, we having what we believed must be
          our own peculiar way of feeling,

if only a little, those feelings secondary to what our
          senses could yield us in pictures
exposed through blue light to profusion, the inexhaustible
          growing and shrinking back again
of the cracks we fingered to prove it. We knew
          what would not follow our shins
pushing gaps through the grass. Engagement,
          active, of what we called ours
went still redder than the white of those clouds
          absorbing light and composed of parts—

actually separate, actually working in opposition
          to one another creating tension
between us and that separateness we would not
          call ours: sun through thin clouds,
how we stood in the pictures; that we stood
          for the pictures. But not to repair.
We in our reaching state could not sustain
          the pressure of some clumsy play
at seaming the narrow bands grooved to peel
          open over our wrists. And the glass

made it different from how we remembered.
          We in that room were more
than two receiving; we had within the white
          flat real things and we felt adequate
together protecting them. There was no colored light
          to fall on the wood; our hands
made burdens of our patience trailing damp
          rings around the room. It was precious
to us; the inward frames of our hands made square
          houses to remind us of things

that happen in houses—collection, arrangement—
          we leaned to look in. But those other
people—we must appear to them unmoved.
          We must put up with them
in the regular ways. They would have our mystery
          lined to limit what might be
awe at the possibility of trying what we were trying
          though we never said we
were trying; we were passive even in our action
          (film, hands, the pines sounding rings)

together making tools of our detachment, our stayed
          leaning to feel it, more. The frames:
limbs fitted together to measure need in triangles
          of blue light. It meant our necks
arched out of vertical, compression; it meant
          need in triangles of blue light.
We would give our knees bent to joint floors
          gone wooden in the pictures
produced in the dark to make visible the postures
          of our minds less joint now

than those boards bearing enlargement
          on our papers in contact
with the glass. And when we said we wanted
          to walk through the black
that made the pines an end around the house
          we meant I did—I would stand
behind the glass making evening mean the pines
          or we to blue light as
twilight low in early summer to picture you
          sleeping soundly in that room

and me to find the pines in black shapes
          made of cardboard and glued
upright in boxes that opened loudly beneath
          my hands. We would not have it;
you as I’d make you—other and not so exposed—
          would picture me sleeping soundly
in that room where you would watch the pines
          inching closer to the edge
that was to you the glass you pressed against
           your hands drying more in our room

than in the pictures where they drew dark limbs
          out for cutting. The minor
transformations of those hacked branches within
          each frame seemed to seek
increasingly to make themselves new, to build
          into their arrangements a reference
to what we could call true: hands, lines, that it fell
          cooler as the light went bluer or
that we were too warm in that room with its walls
          through which we could not pass.

That touching bark, no longer green, grew
          to wooden around us as our cuts
grew to dry within the pines acting lately
          like shadows on the window
framing hours. We had two ways of making
          words for one another, both ours.
That the cut ends of the branches scraped shapes
          against the glass; it meant need
in pieces of good sky produced in the dark
          and perfectly visible.