Thursday, October 01, 2020

#449 L'Atlantide

The concealing shroud has
shifted from the bedside 
of a sleeping Georgette & 
now resembles a bunch of 
damp towels as it rests on 
the tiles beside a bath that 
has no taps, no obvious out-
let pipes. Rotate the painting, 
& stairs appear. & though the 
chapel at the top of them is set
into solid rock, it means only 
that an exit is behind you. A-
void the abyss which is al-
ways here- or thereabouts. &
beware the imminent arrival 
of a cascade of water falling
from the upturned bath.

Monday, September 28, 2020

#448 L'ombre Céleste

The sky comes on little fog feet. It pauses for maximum visual impact before moving on round the corner & then disappearing down the alleyway.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

#447 The Encounter

What fundamentalist church do the bilboquets belong to? Is this an awkward preamble in that once-a-year formal meeting at which the offspring are instructed who their lifetime partner will be? Are there other opportunities to encounter members of another gender outside of gospel rallies & church hall meetings? How often do they hold dances? Do they hold dances? Could this be actually a prelude to a dance, both sides uncertain how to proceed to better know one another without yet getting too close? Why is the outside angry? Where are the walls to shut it out. Who defines forever? When will the curtain be drawn?

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

#446 The Cicerone

Instead of a trident he holds a candelabra. Instead of candles it holds apartment buildings — not large ones, just three storeys each. In- stead of residents, they hold stories. For a small fee, the cicerone will recount them. A few cents more, & he'll embellish with special effects.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

#445 L'heure d'été

Maybe it depends upon the country you live in. But instead of images of sunburnt masculinity, a perfume called Summertime in these parts conjures up those several fevers whose vector is mosquitoes. Plus heat. & either humidity, the occasional hurri- cane, lots of rain, or else an infinite dryness that brings only drought, depending on which specific part of the land you live on. The smell of summertime is usually sweat — & where's the poetry in that?

Saturday, September 12, 2020

#444 Le Fin du Temps

The end of time presents as a
simple act of prestidigitation,
able to be reversed by a sequence
of triggers. It wears a black suit
when alone at home; but any time
it ventures out, sequins are de rig-
, in the long-held belief that
the light catching on them will
assist the efficacy of the illusion,
much like movement of the other
hand draws the eye away from
where the legerdemain is actually
being carried out. There are other
disguises. This end of time is pre-
faced by perspective done on the
cheap — the faux wood floor tilts
upwards, & seemingly sitting a-
top its sloping edge is a rococo
frame. Not with an inset mirror;
instead an oval piece of plywood
with symmetrical jigsawn decor-
ation. It is a mirror, though. Look
into it & see laid out how time runs
backwards now. Turn round & look
ahead. That distant dot is time's end.

Saturday, September 05, 2020

#443 The Secret Life III

Rodents & small humans
inhabit the tunnel that runs
beneath the clouds. They are
currently extinct, though the
occasional fossil may still be
found. A plucked stalactite
rests against the wall that holds
the outside in. There are four
openings out into a potential
void — hard to be sure, since
each has a screensaver which
is full of clouds — that take it
in turns to show newsreels
of previous wars. The size of
the openings determines what
centuries the newsreels date
from. Screening times will
be written on the blackboard
when the clouds wake up.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

#442 The Secret of the Clouds

It is daytime. The unlit moon
comes across as just another
cloud as it mixes in with them.
Except these clouds don't look
like those clouds — or those /
these, depending on what your
viewing point is. Nothing secretive
about the ones above my head:

meteorologists have long since been
able to define, decline them. These others?
Okay, it's obviously a shitty day, but the
only secret I can posit they contain is
which of asemic notebook, extrusion, or
tangled spaghetti do they spring from.

Monday, August 24, 2020

#441 The Homunculus of Frank O'Hara

I no longer take the homunculus of Frank O'Hara onto the plane with me. Have grown tired of having to place it in the perspex tray along with my lighter, cigarettes, keys, watch, wallet, spectacles – yes, I know there's three-quarters of a racially stereotypical joke in there; but having no desire to irradiate my gonads I have never taken off my testicles to complete the punchline.

The homunculus traveled peacefully enough most times. But every so often, especially when the flight was delayed, he'd be set off by the X-ray machine, would suddenly exclaim "my quietness has a man in it" in a voice that most definitely contradicted the words; & then I'd be up against the wall being searched for stowaways.

Before him I'd taken Bach with me. He'd mainly hum. The machines would gradually pick up the theme & purr along in perfect counterpoint. Caught up by the harmony all around even the security guards would display a courtesy & politeness that was exemplary. Never a problem until the day J.S.B. got asked to remove his periwig & promptly launched into a performance of his Toccata & Fugue in D Minor that shook the terminal. Then came the Brandenburgs, & planes started falling from the sky.

Magritte has been my companion on the last few flights. So far nothing to report. He is the perfect gentleman. Takes off his overcoat & lays it flat on the belt, followed by his bowler hat which he places in such a way it completes the outline of a man. Then we walk through the metal detector together, quietly, each eating an apple picked from a favorite painting.

Friday, August 21, 2020

#440 Les sommet du regard

After his death, the executors
came to take an inventory of
the familiar items. He was there
for most of it, was able to clear
up some of the uncertainties,
took pains to point out that most
of the items here did not exist.

"Can you truly believe that
things found within the various
strata of a painting that contains
a painting that also contains a
painting would have physical
form? The perspective is all wrong
to allow that to happen. I made

them visible only for the length
of time it took me to paint the
painting that surrounds the others.
Now I too have passed; & no one
is left to say if that is a swarm of
locusts in the background, or
smoke coming from a forest fire."

Thursday, August 13, 2020

#439 Le Goût de l’Invisible (1964)

Ceci n'est pas un masque
. It is an apple,
put there to prevent
the perfume of the

abyss from seeping in.
I am standing on its
edge, looking into
it, then I slowly turn

away. It's reverse
psychology. If I can't
see it then I am in-
visible. It can still

taste me, though. My
fear gives me away.