Marina Manoukian is a reader and a writer who sometimes dabbles in collage art. She currently resides in Berlin. She is pursuing a Masters in English Philology. Her poem "Beginning" presents a fresh vision of the struggles of figuring out our surroundings and our own identity.
Let’s begin with a chalkboard. Let’s begin with a chalkboard.
Get to the point they say. They always say get to the point. But the point is where the line
How shall we begin?
I apologize for imposing. Chalk has stood the test of time under rock and cliff.
Let us begin with a point. Everything begins with a point. One must start each letter with a
point. That point may soon, if not instantaneously, begin to curve, but it began as a point
If a point ceases to become immediately after it has, it still remains a point.
Draw a circle.
What have you done? A point coming back to itself with a consistent angle. How else would
we have come full circle.
With that full circle we now have room to breathe. We have space.
Does that have to be designated for space to have a point?
No. The space already began with a point. Or perhaps maybe once the point began it was no
longer a point. And now the space is enclosed by an infinity of points —or pointlessness.
Nevertheless, space is space and space may be filled or remain a hole though it may not
necessarily be a hole. Just as a hole may not necessarily be a circle.
That’s not necessary to know but it’s true.
Does space require depth to be a hole? That depends.
Are we figuring on Earth or in space? How many dimensions of depth are we fathoming?
I’m sure now we’ve all forgotten about the chalkboard now that we’re drawing lacks in
space. But bear with me.
Perhaps my illustration of an illustration may illustrate a point.
So we cannot measure depths of other kinds with our preexisting measurements, which are
dependent on sight.
A true hole is dependant on no thing. It itself is defined by a lack.
Depending on where you are the hole either begins everywhere ceases continuously or
Depths that you cannot see cannot end.
Not in the way this imaginary piece of chalk will end. Did we ever decide what colour it was?
What was everyone picturing? Was anyone picturing? Perhaps some pink and blue for
shading? Green for underlines and accents? Or is that too distracting? Is this distracting?
Hold on a moment. Why would there be shading? It’s a hole!
Our depth is unforeseeable! We must have shaded the surrounding patches. To claim to
discuss space while meanwhile blowing chalk dust up its face just seems rude.
So we began with a point and the point became a space and the space became a hole.
Let’s put the hole back on Earth. Just in case it went anywhere else.
Sometimes a hole allows you to see more space. In quantifiable square footage of course.
But in space, a hole signifies either space that isn’t really space as we know it to be or space
that we simply cannot see.
They say space begins with a single point and I’m inclined to think they’re right.
It appears I’ve run out of chalk.
Photos by Drew Wilson.