Friday, January 16, 2009

ART, 1 through 2 (bonus feature: 3)

I signed up for a course in German because of my abiding affection for Goethe and sweet summer afternoons when the grass is really, like, green. The professor had a mustache, if you can call it that, and the air was hot and musty in the room along with the sweet sickly whatever aromas everywhere. Don’t get me wrong: I loved it. My affection abides. Sometimes it even bursts, like a stupid piñata. But I now must tell you the truth: I only stayed long enough to find out how to say ‘art’ in German. And now I will tell you something so that you never have to meet someone who has a mustache if you can call it that and all the rest that comes with it usually. Here it is: kunst.


I have only one answer to everything, and that is to do a handstand. When they ask if I would like a receipt, I of course do a handstand. When someone says “Watch where you’re going!” I do a handstand–not the other way around. And if someone says, “Don’t I know you?” My handstand says, “perhaps.” Late at night, when the world grows gentle and soft, I draw a picture of someone doing a handstand–it’s good practice. And then I let him be eaten by an octopus. “I didn’t draw that!” I swear. I run away as quickly as I can, on my hands, red and sweet.


I looked at the her photograph after I watched her movie and felt very uncomfortable with it. There was something missing – her hair was in a pretty black braid and her eyes were like stars of course and her hands were held in a broken prayer and threshed wheat stood behind her gently brushing the background.

“It’s the brick wall!” I thought to myself. “Where is the brick wall surrounding her?”

Of course there was no brick wall. I should say: there was no reason for a brick wall around her. Unless you count her loss – her family’s gone, now, and so are her friends, her husband, her flowers, her photographer. Never again will she eat a hamburger to make her mother happy. And who can explain cows? Nevertheless, a brick wall would be a nice thing to have, next to the stars. Dontcha know. And so her father holds her hand and watches television. The cat is there, or was, not understanding nothing. Nothing's missing. It's all right. Eventually, you stop. I don’t think there is anything missing.

And Carl Perkins was playing, of course, in her eyes.

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