Monday, July 13, 2020

#436 Elle a mis son smoking

She put on her tuxedo for her
senior portrait. The yearbook
left her photo out & spelt her
name wrong when they wrote

No Photo. She put on her tuxedo,
then put on a James Brown cape
to match. The result was much
more androgynous than the and-

roid she was meant to be. She
put on her tuxedo to try & get
her swag back. Such a retro thing.
But doesn't she look fantastic!

She put on her tuxedo, put away
her petticoats, then wrote a letter
to Marlene Dietrich saying how
grateful she was to have such a

role model. She put on her tux-
edo. Such a chic alternative to the
usual high school prom dress —
except they wouldn't let her in.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

#435 La lumière du pôle

Is said the polar lights
dance. If so, is not so

dangerous. Unless. A
single light is much more

potent, will dry the skin
& brittleness will break

it off. Unless. You are a
bird. & feathers protect.

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

#434 The Famine

We turn into clowns &
start by fighting over who
has the right to eat Ensor's
Skeletons fighting over a
smoked herring
. Eventually
that's gone, torn into little
pieces; but the intake doesn't
stay the hunger so we turn

upon each other. Now I'm
the last one left, & what is
left of me, I realize, is all the
food remaining. Where should
I start? I take off what's left of
my clown clothes. Naked-
ness is the proper dress for
facing existential questions.

Saturday, July 04, 2020

#433 The Future of Voices + The Key to Dreams

The cicerone paused midway between the two paintings. "These were both painted in the same year," she said, "but we do not know which one came first. I like to think it was the one without the internal frame, without the labels. I am probably wrong, though. More likely that the painter saw these objects & captured & imprisoned them, then called their images by another name so that they would forget who or what they were.

"If we accept my initial ordering, then the future of voices is that they fall silent unless they are given names, no matter if inappropriate. If we believe the alternative scenario, then reality gradually falls away until the objects become the stuff of dreams, misnamed, though something of a key left behind so we can make the invisible visible if we so desire.

"Each time I walk by I make up stories, create associations. The briefcase has been floating around in space for so long it has become the sky that surrounds it. Then the painter comes along & stuffs it into the case it used to be but which he now names sky. It becomes a paradox: how can it be both inside & outside itself when it is not transparent?

"Then we confront mundanity. The sponge is so absorbent that no matter what we throw at it, it takes it in & remains what it always was, will always be, in captivity or not. The name remains the same no matter what happens in the interim. But a falling leaf transforms into the table we are lunching at.

"Not everything is so straightforward. Perhaps the bird slices its throat with the pocket knife & is swallowed up by the space between, eventually reappearing as a pipe. Yet if we approach this from the other end, it may be that the painter was unable to rename the pipe, disturbed by what he later described as the treachery of images, & so excluded it from the reworking, leaving a space until the knife flew into view.

"History records that it took the painter two more years before he could confront the pipe again, & even then could not name or rename it. Instead he attached a warning label: Ceci n'est pas une pipe."

Friday, July 03, 2020

#432 The Murderous Sky

The hillsides are crammed
with rocks, patches of snow
contained between them. They
didn't kill the birds. Or bird,
one only, but cloned or repli-
cated, & placed with mathe-
matical precision within each
quadrant of at least the rectangle
we can see & likely elsewhere.
The sky may be the murderer;
but the painter is its accomplice.