Tip Me Over, Pour Me Out

My friend Dōshin Owen spotted this compelling piece by Lesley Dill at the Kemper Museum of Modern Art recently.

Poem Spill, 1995
paint, plaster, collage, wire and wood

Photo by Dōshin Owen

Here’s a description from Voices in My Head, a 1995 exhibit of works by Lesley Dill: “The exhibition [consisted] of large—12 feet long—hanging cloths of muslin or gauze, each silkscreened with an image of a figure or part of a figure. The surface is stained with tea, paint and varnish, and in most cases collaged with pieces of cloth, stitched with thread, or even burned. Fragments of Emily Dickinson's poems are painted directly on the figure, or are stamped on or below the images, even cut out of the cloth. The inspiration for this series are the Buddhist prayer flags that captivated Dill during her stays in India and Nepal. These flags, pieces of cloth on which prayers have been printed, are hung, sometimes in great numbers, outside of temples or in sacred places to blow in the wind. Used to convey prayers, they are imbued with a powerful sense of spirituality.”

Photo by Dōshin Owen

One need not be a Chamber — to be Haunted —
One need not be a House —
The Brain has Corridors — surpassing
Material Place —

Far safer, of a Midnight Meeting
External Ghost
Than its interior Confronting —
That Cooler Host.

Far safer, through an Abbey gallop,
The Stones a'chase —
Than Unarmed, one's a'self encounter —
In lonesome Place —

Ourself behind ourself, concealed —
Should startle most —
Assassin hid in our Apartment
Be Horror's least.

The Body — borrows a Revolver —
He bolts the Door —
O'erlooking a superior spectre —
Or More —