under cover of night my tar baby portraits splash through galleries not mine to grace by day

why do I care more
about your active


than what I paint now on this dark
and dizzy night?

your secret’s wasted
on platonic solid me

you’re stuck on a perfect day
of the perfect parts you play

so powder my maths, trickle it
onto your fresh glue life


The opposite of mimesis (or, attempting to trick the viewer into believing the representation is the Real), the essence of art for Velázquez and for Tomasula, is its ability to call attention to the gap between the two. Thus art becomes not a salve for or distraction from the painful gap, but a “form of knowledge”—which VAS [An Opera in Flatland: A Novel] pairs with pain in its opening line—and a “way of being” that is an alternative to the pleasant ignorance of mimetic magic.
– Steve Tomasula. The Art and Science of New Media Fiction, Bloomsbury 2015, p.33 and Mary K. Holland The Moral Worlds of Contemporary Realism Bloomsbury 2020, p.85