blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsFall 2009  Vol. 9. No. 2





Colonel Allerton S. Cushman, His Wife & The Spirit Of Annabelle,
Their Deceased Daughter, With The Sitters’ Faces Blotted Out To
Their Identities, Ada Emma Deane, Photographer: Journal
Of The American Society For Psychic Research, Vol. 16

Gelatin Silver Plate, 1922

& when does moment transfigure to myth?
& who drives its tableaus & trapdoors, the cables

Enabling flight? The credulous & gullible—
Shamanized or conned?
                                      The dearly departed is froth

& smudge. She hovers ectoplasmically
Above her mother’s hat, mother whose own face

Has been scoured to iconoclastic nothingness.
Back ramrod straight, the Colonel squats uneasily,

Visage tabula rasa, awaiting from The Other Side
Some signal, token, evidence. Annabelle’s

Dear Voice, or her Spirit Writing, ethereal
In the turbid studio dark; a lock of hair to materialize

& for an instant, hold. We are poor passing facts,
Named but faceless.
                                 Each of us a famished ghost.

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