43 and in this dream, I surprised my own face clear and thoughtless as the cadaver's, motionless in the stone shambles. Posterity, and my own eye opens behind the shutter for exquisite exposure, to collect the "evidence" and give history a ghost to listen for. After the artillery, comes burial detail, desperate to get agony under ground, to conceal the mirror we wince from, and who is surprised if we thrash amid phantoms when we can manage to sleep? Who is astonished that we wake from the Devil's Den screaming a new century's central lamentation, fearing we have all lost the power to weep? Misty Harper was completed in 1894 or 1895, but it is apparent that the shadow beside the girl was absent from earlier versions of the painting and the 1903 etching. In 1894, Guglielmo Marconi built his first radio equipment, a device that rung a bell from 30 feet away. Distance unpleated, altered like a fragile garment. In 1895, Marconi received radio signals transmitted from over a mile. The garment unseamed again. Knowing this, what can we know of this unclothed girl cum symbol? We don't know her first name, much less the middle or last.
Prairie Schooner – University of Nebraska Press
Published: May 18, 2005