Nominated, along with “Doubtful,” for a Pushcart Prize.
Poem 1 = entire grid
Poem 2 = inner circle, central vision that’s left
Poem 3 = Blind Ring
I find it one day. Standing in front of a white wall staring straight ahead a thick dark circle with a small light center appears. My blind spot. But not yet a spot. Now only a ring of smudged gray surrounding white. Sumdged gray the central vision I’ve lost and white what remains. Every year this ring will thicken spread until absorbing the shrinking center. I stare at it until my head aches my eyes twitch. I observe how it moves slightly when I shift my gaze. How it grows bigger when I cover my left eye smaller when I cover my right. How it begins to throb then fade then flare. A dark fiery hoop with silvery flecks burning through my thinning retina.
ring will thicken
orbing the shrink
stare at it
To witness this site of my unseeing usually hidden behind softened forms filled-in gaps astonishes. What magic lets me see through this ring obscuring my view? How satisfying now to know this show is more real than the illusions my brain offers as sight.
Resources and Additional Thoughts
In effect, I have an extremely large blind spot in the center of my visual field. Every human eye has a blind spot. It is the place where the optic nerve meets the retina, where there are no photoreceptors. The reason you do not see your blind spot most of the time is because it is out of the center region of your vision. Also since you have two eyes, there are two blind spots, but they do not overlap. When something is obscured by the blind spot in your left eye, your right eye will see it. And your brain knows the blind spots are there and always have been. Your whole visual system works around the fact of your blind spot, so you can disregard it. My blind spot is simply larger and more central than yours.Georgina Kleege, Sight Unseen
With effort, I can force myself to see my blind spot. When I stare directly at a blank wall, this flaw in my retina does not appear as a black hole or splotches f darkness. When I am very tired I see intense blue-violet, or a deep teal green. More often, I see a blur slightly darker in color than the wall overlaid with a pattern of tiny flecks. Depending on lighting conditions these flecks are bright white, sometimes edged in violent or a golden yellow. Sometimes the flecks are less vividly colored, and the wall appears like a surface of water dappled by a breeze or soft rain. These flecks or dapples vibrate, pulsate, shiver but stay closely packed and never migrate from the central region. Around this movement, in the periphery of my visual field, there is calm.Georgina Kleege, Sight Unseen
The richness of our individual experience is largely illusory; we actually “see” very little and rely on educated guesswork to do the rest.Vilayanur S. Ramachandran and Diane Rogers-Ramachandran
from my own notes: O, the magic of the body, the brain! Even in failure it dazzles, delights. Whenever I want, I can stare at a blank wall and attend a light show.