The Brooklyn Rail

FEB 2017

All Issues
FEB 2017 Issue




Andrey Karlov was assassinated by Mevlut Mert Altintas at the Çankaya Municipality Contemporary Arts Center on December 19, 2016. Photographer Burhan Ozbilici was present and documented the incident and aftermath. One of the photos he took is already, just days after the event, being described as iconic.




Someone says it is
one of the most beautiful
photographs the most
beautiful photographs most
beautiful photograph
they’ve ever seen

It’s hard to stay focused
I try to read marginalia
trying it’s hard to read
edges the beautiful marginalia

Most photographs are not
in focus one hard attempt
to understand the news
characters counted between
letters the spaces made
by image I try hard
to stay beautiful

The focus of characters
in photographs difficult
to try one of the most-read
attempts it’s beautiful
to attempt the marginalia
like hard characters
glowing off the page
of illuminated scripts

The left arm rigid index
finger pointing toward
God a gun in the other
hand trigger-finger gold
leaf in the other
background the body
becomes annotated






The description

“One of the most beautiful photographs”

containing thirty-six
with spaces
is the auto-
correction of
horror through
bringing form
forward while
truth empties
out from a body
in the background
pointed toward
God the image
an omnipotent
likeness fingers
glowing gun
glowing molten
focus of rage
We scribble
at the edge
of what is seen
by finger pointing
not difficult to see
and yet the phrase
is repeated again
and again edgewise






What about those pictures
hanging in the background
marginal witness to the crime
the score for art set
to a smell of sulfur and iron
emptying from bodies
these pictures out of focus
glass shards across the floor
hard to read easy to think about
the mouth frozen in a shout
the eyes emptying themselves
of all marginalia making room
for a space to focus on a single
violent act where the act
becomes marginal to the photo






It’s hard to hear these things
hard to separate them into
smaller pieces beautiful
in themselves tragic in themselves
infuriating in themselves
each piece once detached
growing from a single bullet
into an arsenal of truth emptying
from the edges where faces
covered in drying blood and dust
peer up at the snowfall
of ash that never stops






Ethan Fugate

ETHAN FUGATE lives and writes in Charleston, S.C. with his partner, three dachshunds, three chickens named after characters played by Shelley Winters, and a long-suffering cat. The first draft "Ankara" began during his bicycle commute home on the day of the incident.


The Brooklyn Rail

FEB 2017

All Issues