Matthew Word Bain

Slippin’ Away

© Matthew Word Bain

an illegible palimpsest
of former identities
above a random
patchwork of
former windows
embedded in a wall
that seems to be prone
to losing mortar over time
given the splotchy repointing
and areas now needing the same

ain’t it funny how time gets stuck
lodged in the inconsistencies
expressed on the surface
of an old brick wall
visible remnants
of how
. . .
the sticky
surfaces that
catch at it while
it passes unchecked
like the wind, perhaps
it is not so much time that
lodges in these crevices but
its effect – like the wind it can’t
be seen, only its effect on what it
passes by, and like the wind can
only be felt as that passing by
takes place, as time travels
on its unrestricted way

Yves Klein Was Here

© Matthew Word Bain

peeling back the blue wall
between the yellow door
and the light grey barrier
a stack of red bricks is revealed
the white sign, offset above the yellow door
offers little by way of explanation
save more ambiguity
by way of obscure impressions
of letters now long gone

between the bold colors, the bright sun
and the emerging layers of texture
there is something surreal
about this scene

A Train Waiting For

© Matthew Word Bain

no one greets this train
when it comes to a slow stop
no one is waiting

to load or unload these cars
meanwhile, barricades pile up

in the lot between
the tracks and the old feed mill
briefly a thrift store

and now, once again, empty
and waiting, like these box cars

Getting to Know You

© Matthew Word Bain

reliance on signs
can leave one in a quandary
when the signs have all come down

what is this place?
at one time
its identity was
written on its face
it was labeled

what happens
when we rely on labels
for identification? what happens
to relationship? when we learn the name
of a tree from a textbook do we know the tree?
what do you suppose would happen if instead we sat
beneath the tree twice every day for a whole year
without presuming to know its name?

wandering around this building
for half an hour with only my camera
and my curiosity, I have a much better feel
for who this building is, a feel arising
from the dance of relationship
something no sign or label
would ever be able to provide

Railroad Crossing

© Matthew Word Bain

the main line through town
rendering an auspicious sighting
even as I wend my way back to the car
after a stroll past the short line
whose southern terminal
lies just to the left
of this frame
trains come and go
the magic of the rails endures