in the middle

see blue on both sides

formations so large

could be mountains

rising from ocean’s horizon

see the world pass

time leaves you

in the middle

see reflections

should be shadows

in that moment

before The Moment

Katerina Marks
13 July 2016


The Site

There was a moment of
uncertainty. What if
I didn’t recognize it?
This site I had seen
a hundred times
in a photo.
This site that
really only existed
on the edge of my

A nonsite.

It felt like we were
driving to the edge
of the world.
The road kept
curving before us,
making false promises
of a new view so
many times I wondered
if we had taken a
turn too soon or maybe
she meant “right and then left”.
The clouds stay low and grey,
the grass always green,
the constant gravel
road gently rising and
dipping, cows looking up
curiously with sleepy eyes,
rocks multiplying as
they lead their way
up the foothills.

Logically, I knew
it was there. I hadn’t
figured out how to read
the website concerning
the water levels, so
I just kept hoping the
water would be shallow
enough for us to see
the pink waters swirling
around it so that I
could dip my toes in.

There it is! I mean, the lake,
I don’t think that’s the
It was too straight
and the water wasn’t
pink. Anticipation
started to build. I felt
like I was coming back
home to see a long lost
cousin. I leaned forward,
my hands pressing into
the front corners of my
seat, my eyes searching the
water’s edge as it
began to recede.

Another turn up the hill.

Another line of rocks.



That’s it!

I must have tried getting
out of the car. “Okay!
We’re almost there!”

The road kept climbing up.
The pink waters lay on
the horizon, just out of reach.

Then there was the end of
the road.

And the end of the world
sitting just below me.

Here is where history
repeated itself. Repeats
itself. On this site. I
sat on the edge of the hill,
the pilgrimage too steep and
rocky for me to complete,
forever the observer.
The view was beautiful.
The clouds low and grey
over us, the waters
seeming to cut into
the mountains on the
horizon and leading
toward forever, the
Spiral surrounded by sand,
except for a few small
puddles of salty pink,
leading me back to shore,
and the wind just enough
to remind me to breathe.

Katerina Marks
23 May 2016
I visited the Spiral Jetty, an earthwork by Robert Smithson, on 20 May 2016.
It is intact for me.

immobile cyclone

“About one mile north of the oil seeps I selected my site. Irregular beds of limestone dip gently eastward, massive deposits of black basalt are broken over the peninsula, giving the region a shattered appearance. It is one of the few places on the lake where the water comes right up to the mainland. Under the shallow pinkish water is a network of mud cracks supporting the jig-saw puzzle that composes the salt flats. As I looked at the site, it reverberated out to the horizons only to suggest an immobile cyclone while flickering light made the entire landscape appear to quake. A dormant earthquake spread into the fluttering stillness, into a spinning sensation without movement. This site was a rotary that enclosed itself in an immense roundness. From that gyrating space emerged the possibility of the Spiral Jetty. No ideas, no concepts, no systems, no structures, no abstractions could hold themselves together in the actuality of that evidence. My dialectics of site and nonsite whirled into an indeterminate state, where solid and liquid lost themselves in each other. It was as if the mainland oscillated with waves and pulsations, and the lake remained rock still. The shore of the lake became the edge of the sun, a boiling curve, an explosion rising into a fiery prominence. Matter collapsing into the lake mirrored in the shape of a spiral. No sense wondering about classifications and categories, there were none.”

– Excerpt taken from “The Spiral Jetty (1972)” by Robert Smithson; Robert Smithson: The Collected Writings, edited by Jack Flam


stuck in a loop

Ready, Set, Done

stuck in a loop
ring around the rosy
they reached out to draw me in
and history repeats itself
again and again and again
my fingers in the grass
stand in the center
rather dance on the edge
put that record on
you know my favorite song
i spin
and branch forth
to kiss the sun
vibrations in our atoms
the stars at our fingertips
universal rotation
we’re all stuck in a loop

Katerina Marks
19 Jan 2016

Go round

“It’s natural to go to round objects.” – artist friend

I started thinking about the size of circles the other day and realized we use them to define even the smallest things. For example:


Wait! They really are round!


“A circle is the only geometric shape defined by its centre. No chicken and egg about it, the centre came first, the circumference follows. The earth, by definition, has a centre. And only the fool that knows it can go wherever he pleases, knowing the centre will hold him down, stop him flying out of orbit. But when your sense of centre shifts, comes whizzing to the surface, the balance has gone…” ― Sarah Kane


Then there’s the sun:


Beyond that, we’re all rotating. See?


They say the entire universe is expanding at the same rate. I pictured lungs inhaling.

“…the Power of the World always works in circles…” Black Elk, “Black Elk Speaks” by John G. Neihardt

It’s natural to go round.

By the way, all the pictures are linked back to their original sites. Please check them out! They’re all super neat!


“slingshot” notes and sketch


I run circles around you
epitome of insanity

-I fly at the slingshot

Katerina Marks
12 Jan 2016

– “the centre came first, the circumference follows…” – Sarah Kane
– “My love is a spiral, not a circle.” – Jarod Kintz

Circling back

This time last year I was getting ready to participate in my first Blogging 101 “course”; and come the first day of 2016, I’ll be participating in my second round. This year will be a little different because I’ll be focusing on a specific theme and hopefully the work I do will be the springboard for everything else I plan to do for the rest of the year.

If you read my post from December 22nd, you’ll see the inspiration for my upcoming work, which will include poetry (this is a poetry blog after all!), some notes, sketches and paintings. I’ll also discuss why Black Elk’s passages have become important to me.

Ideally, I’d like this to be an interactive experience. I know I’m not the best at commenting on other folks’ work, which is something I’ll be working on too, but I like feedback. If you have any questions, comments, just anything you’d like to share, please post them!

Be seeing you around!

“Black Elk Speaks – Circles”, 07/11, Katerina Marks