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The Blind Photographer

By Patrick Wright

How is it you see through your pinhole?
What you call a two o’clock aperture lets in
shocks of pink, giving-it-large green, magenta;
the rest bleach. Form for you is like gazing
through frosted glass so that lamps look like
daubs of hue or big fish scales. Sometimes
you catch shadows on ceilings. Once, back-lit
against encroaching sea, when the light
was perfect, my black fleece gifted us
contrast: you saw a jelly bean.

You defy prejudice. Since the days
of knowing your right eye would never work
and your left would slowly deteriorate,
you set about learning the golden mean,
Quattrocento, single point, to conceive
what it might be like for things to fall
outwards. You’ve never known three
dimensions, but spent a lifetime projecting
arcades. In managing this, you’re a seer.
Your eye is a camera; and with knowledge

of how things lit before it all started
to fade, readying yourself in advance, by
looking for forty years at the world twice
as hard as twenty-twenties among us,
you’re an artist. Your Flickr page reads
as a diary of long goodbyes, a path to
abstraction — light documents you call them;
more like visions, the closest analogue
to your periphery, how you share a lens
through the graininess of pixel devices.

You tell me the blind world is beautiful,
that once it’s possible to get past the fear
everything becomes cosseted, inward.
Your genius hangs everywhere. I love
what you do with sunlight, how you’re able
to capture the limits through small spirit
lights that fall on walls without most of us
noticing. I love how you call them numens,
invoking all that’s lost in the world
as blocks of visitation on contact paper.

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Cover photography

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Dawn Hart

The cover photography on our anthology is by Dawn, who cares for her twins Grace and Ethan.

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