I dreamed I called you on the telephone
to say: Be kinder to yourself
but you were sick and would not answer
The waste of my love goes on this way
trying to save you from yourself
I have always wondered about the left-over
energy, the way water goes rushing down a hill
long after the rains have stopped
or the fire you want to go to bed from
but cannot leave, burning-down but not burnt-down
the red coals more extreme, more curious
in their flashing and dying
than you wish they were
sitting long after midnight
- Carrie Mae Weems: After thinking about postmodernism and all this stuff about fractured selves, and so on, when I was constructing the Kitchen Table series, Laura Mulvey's article "Visual and Other Pleasures" came out, and everybody and their mama was using it, talking about the politics of the gaze, and I kept thinking of the gaps in her text, the way in which she had considered black female subjects.
- bell hooks: That's exactly what I was thinking, though you and I didn't know each other at the time. Her piece was the catalyst for me to write my piece on black female spectators, articulating theoretically exactly what you were doing in the Kitchen Tables series.
- CMW: All the pieces in the series highlight "the gaze," particularly the piece where the woman is sitting with a man leaning against her, his head buried in her neck, a mirror placed directly in front of her, but she looks beyond that to the subject.
- bh: Go, girl.
- CMW: At the audience, right?
- bh: Hm-mmmm. Yes.
- CMW: You know, just using that as the beginning and the turning point to flip all that shit around, and to start creating a space in which black women are looking back, right?
- bh: Right.
The Pool Players.
Seven at the Golden Shovel.
We real cool. We
Left school. We
Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We
Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We
Jazz June. We