Tuesday, May 21, 2024

#540 The Art of Conversation V (1950)

Knit & pearl alternately for four 
rows. Underneath it, in white 
wool, long enough to interest, yet 
not long enough to tire, with the 
words written in a clear, legible 

hand, this note: "This is not a dream."
Written from the heart, the simple
eloquence of the words forces the 
ideogram to arrange itself accor-
ding to the laws of a simultaneous 

form. Avoid postscripts, punctuate 
carefully. Render the outline as a 
thin skin that must be pierced in 
order to follow, word for word, the 
outpouring of its internal text. A 

lie is not locked up in a phrase, but 
must exist, if at all, in the mind of 
the writer. In its millennial tradition
the essence of rhetoric is in allegory.
Never point. It is excessively ill-bred.

This Is Not a Pipe, by Michel Foucault
The Ladies’ Book of Etiquette (1860), by Florence Hartley

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

#539 L'Aube à Cayenne (2)

The tree trunk taken, & turned
into a book. Dürer is praying a
miracle may occur — as he has
done for several centuries — & 
the tree become whole again. Yes,
he knows trees reach up to the
sky, but they should have a base
to support them, not be silhou-

etted against the rules of nature.
Now his hands hold a ball of
thread to tether it to the ground
if he can get his magic metal sty-
lus to draw it closer. He has to
hurry, for the candle burns away.

Saturday, May 11, 2024

#538 La Magie Noire (1946)

Antarctic winter imitated. I am
living inside a refrigerator
set up in a cold store. Beside me
there is a bird that would
escape if it could. It is my first
Assumption; & I am trying
to keep it by keeping it
as close to suspended animation
as I can. The bird is unhappy.
It is a summer bird. When
I first felt it fluttering
a few ingested pellets of dry ice
were enough to quieten it.
But as it grew
I was forced to move lodgings,
was forced to move
my chilling mode from
solid boulder blocks to
gaseous intake. Now when I exhale
my frozen breath is fuel
that drives rockets to the
moon. It does not wake the bird
but something inside it
awakens. I sense its struggles
as it recognizes flight, is
driven mad by its proximity.

Saturday, April 27, 2024

#537 L'Avenir

Everything in the distance seems so picture perfect — the stars, the hills in shadow. & those things up close — the open window, the pristine bench with that loaf so fresh you would swear you could smell it — refresh that first impression of perfection. Then doubts start creeping in. Why are there no lights dotting the hillside? Why are there no knick knacks around the house to indicate some evidence of human inhabitation? Who, therefore, baked the loaf? Is it really real? Or is this image of the future a wry obser- vation by the painter that life as we currently know it might eventually vanish from the planet because hu- mankind cannot live by bread alone?

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

#536 Elseneur

The trees grown up & shaped to repli- cate the castle that once stood here. The place no longer a hamlet. Now over- grown. No longer a place for Ham- let to call Home.

Friday, April 12, 2024

#534 Le Monde des Images

The window pane cannot
encompass the setting of the
sun. It cracks — obviously not 
double-glazed. & that image,
not on the floor, camera ob-
scura style, but, in a similar
fashion, trapped at a point 
in its pathway, imprinted on 
the glass. Now, on the floor, 
shards of sunset — clouds, 
reflections on the sea, sun.

Later, after he had initiated 
the shattering of the glass, 
Magritte wrote: If what is at 
least possible should truly hap-
pen one day, I would hope that
a poet or philosopher... would
explain to me what these shards 
of reality are supposed to mean.

I leave that in the inexplicable
basket. But, if there is some-
one out there…I'm listening.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

#533 L'Ocean

He gets excited when he's near the ocean. She is more reserved, thinks of the scallop shell she emerged on, wonders where it now is. It looks at first like an unequal relationship; but it seems to work.

Saturday, March 23, 2024

#532 La Saveur des larmes (1946)

The stalk broken, perhaps
in preparation for pesto or
some similar condiment. Not

used. The flavor unconducive for garnish — too much sad- ness, tastes too much of tears.

Saturday, March 09, 2024

#531 La Veillée

A lighted candle & holder cut from a music score. Papier collé, glued paper, evoking techniques from some decades before, invoking thoughts of his brother, a musician, poet. Laid beside the candle, eggs in a nest. Though not known where they were laid. Nor known which came first, the candle or the eggs. Not that that matters. Take notice of the notes, their similarity to DNA, the genetic information of the music. & the eggs, the ongoing vigil waiting for them to hatch, to bring more life in to the world as we hold the candle up to illuminate their progress. Note the frisson be- tween them, candle & eggs, the magic imparted by being together, the dust of dusk accompanying them, adding to the mystery.

Friday, February 23, 2024

#530 Le Somnambule

It should have been a one- pipe problem, Watson, but my sleep patterns have been irregular lately, have moved from the no sleep of cocaine use to an ersatz sleepwalking, full of fear, as if the hound of the Baskervilles was hard on my heels. I wake, immediately reach for another pipe. Have lost count of how many I’ve smoked in the last few weeks. & now I’m having visions, will suddenly see an owl in my chair, my pipe in its mouth; & we have moved from Baker Street to somewhere in the country. & the owl peers at me through its saucer eyes, takes the pipe out of its mouth, looks down at it & says to me: “This is not a pipe.” & what it means by that, Watson, is the problem. Is beyond my sphere of expertise.