Parmigianino – 15 Meditations on a Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror.
You are a double-dealer and have oiled your
cards into too many hollows of the brain
to show the irony invested in your youth that
speaks of our mortality in paint on wood, the glance
as we pass by caught in the sadness of a momentary
beauty, the guise that is disguise.
You are the loss that paint conspires with
to deceive; mirror of conscience damned
with dissimulation for the passing crowd.
Yet no dissimulation really, just how the joke
can turn itself (as indeed, the lathe has turned the wood
as indeed you turned yourself)
into the actual. The game is to dissemble
what is not a joke into a joke and do so with
a seriousness that belies itself.
So you have done – what exactly?
dissimulated a dissimulation, one that tricks
the mind into its own pretence
that in the end it has no need of.
Thus you allow the doublings
inherent in your task to hide themselves
in open show, display the art that
understands itself too well.
Let us be clear before too many words
dismiss simplicity. This is a piece of wood
cut on a lathe into a ball and sawn in two.
Let us be clear: this is a mirror framed in gold
that is quite blind to glass and its reflections.
Let us be clear that this is art.