Marthe Reed


devices of power


after Dior’s John Galliano


“we became dedicated to the endless task of forcing its secret, of exacting the truest confessions from a shadow.”

 ~Michel Foucault



a swathe billows copper sexuality and alliance, exposing both greave and cuise.  Bronze plate armours her leg.  A pair of bodies drawn around her.  A drawn cuise or copper. The terms of war bedded in fictitious sex, gauntlet and bracer gear her arm.  Arm her.  Jihad visor and bead helm.  Bellows camber.  Spectacle of power: grey knife-point heels and bronzed greave.  Jeanne d’Arc.  Her sex an iridescent shadow betrays a cherry doublet.  Copper spills backward, pillowing air.  A tracery of gold embroidery, blue jewels.  An economy of pleasure, helmed in feathered bronze.  God-like, tattooed in gold, her false beard black.  Georgettes her.  Fictitious corset.  Pleasure veiled in a film of light, in latex, in Murano beads, she unbinds sex, arms herself in it, draws a line of black over her eyes – that austere monarchy of sex.


Candled women


After Jun Takahashi—Summer 2006


“Go […]/ so we may see [...]/[…]/lady// of gold arms”





candled darkness, a lit space in which women


mutable bodies, drift against black




ghosting exposure over water


beneath voile, wan bodies




light, their own


ground of exposure or lake, umber vanishment




voile tunics them


a luster, exaggerates them




veiled muliebral bodies


opening breast and abdomen to light




breasts as luster written upon white


the motion of light on her face




metalled and tattooed so we


transparent, bodied there




candled exposure bodying metal fire 


Of gold against night and ground




lake drifts as shadow, vanishes


dusk’s restraint




lanterned bodies, mutability scorning erasure


enveiled motion




metal coronets her, binds


her face




delineation in silver


translucent body drifts




tipping into white


lanterned, a null light: we live […] the opposite […] of daring





                                                                           after Jun Takahashi



A sheen of gray, oil on a rifle barrel.  Leather insinuates menace. 

Or desire.  A week of numbered days. 

She is faceless (first day).  A mask obscures the text. 

Scrolled stems lattice the door (second day): the metalled floor vanishes.  In its place, two rows of iron nails stud the wood. 

Her hand grazes its surface (third day).  A gap of doubt surrounding her fingers. 

The artist abandons her to a single tone (fourth day).  Her skin entirely obscured. 

She gazes without expression into a pall of crushed light (fifth day).  The artist hiding in the wings. 

A sheen of water on bare skin (sixth day).  Hers.  An agency of isolation. 

Out of the dark wings (last day): lustrous, a single oily tone responds by vanishing.  She performs such flight in silence. 

Definition by exclusion



sequestered against




a reci-


tation of violence

the Ministry


as against dark

emptied of virtue


an empty room

we don’t


this is liberation

do women


a kind in fear



shuttering terror

we have no






a discourse in war


reports of kidnapping

or venacular ::





any policy

patria potestas



no difference in



terror writes



father and uncles


we don’t

into the code



territory            night



mechanism of power


do women



we don’t



of war

sequester them



entangled apparatus


the same



in kind

washes the


veil another







limit of compassion





a kind in



we don’t

definition by exclusion


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