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Blog Title Photo

Sunday, June 3, 2012

AIDS, Gangrene, and ART


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 doormen polish brass moon valves

What are differences in dress? A New Yorker, a Parisien?

The black man  who owned the big blue float Cadillac who used to wait in front of 302 Mott Street doorstep for a place to park, is dead, of pancreatic cancer.

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Paris poppy fields soporific

I remember Mr. Judson, the old farmer that lives near the house where I grew up. A couple of weeks ago he got mad at one of his cows and kicked it and stubbed his toe nail on the cow, actually broke it. He must of kicked it in the hock while it was walking. So he tied his toe up with a bit of shredded American flag that he was using to wash his cow's udders.

It got infected. He worked and ignored the pain. The infection got so bad his doctors took one look and cut his toe off.

Toeless old Judson got home and went out into his fields to dig postholes. Then his foot got infected. He dreaded a repeat visit to the doctors so he said nothing.

Finally the smell got so bad his daughter noticed and drove him to the hospital in Waterbury. It was the same daughter that had sunbathed naked next to the pond for one of my Dad's paintings. He had been painting pictures of the farm for years and when he heard that juicy bit he went wild, and imagined the daughter, Rubens-esque in her dairy-fed health at pond-side.

All fantasy. There's no time on a farm to sunbathe next to the pond. You'd be eaten alive by flies.

They cut off Judson's foot.

He was back at work a couple of weeks later driving the tractor. Then Judson caught his stump in the pedal.

His leg turned purple and green so the same doctors cut it off below the knee.

"They're whittling me away." he said. He got himself a four legged milking stool. All because he kicked his cow.

Just yesterday Dad reported that Farmer Judson hurt his other toe.

The old man wasn't home, but his son was there. He had just shot some raccoons that were raiding the corn. Their skins were hanging in the barn, covered with flies.

Here in the city I watch our building super Joe Terranova fling garbage into bags:

"They say I should be careful of the needles! They could be hidden and poke me! - I know, I know, what can I do if I get it I get it!" Joe kisses me on the lips, says he's glad to see me. Then his dog licks my hand, so he says "Better wash off, gotta be careful of that virus, they say it's from saliva or something!" He grabs a piece of paper towel that doesn't seem too used, from the trash.

"Here, use this."

Paranoia everywhere. Old Joe's not afraid. He had his share of little sailor boys when he was in the navy.

Our talk shifts to apartments. Money boom, the AIDS epidemic and real estate boom.

What seems separated by cause, is really so linked. We're all here on Planet Earth, eating, breeding, evolving, dying. Block after block of East Village buildings, burned out. Drugs and insurance fraud transform a city.

I watch the joggers, wearing out their bodies, quickly, their shoes, and the pavement. Bikes fill the street. Tons of jiggling wiggling flesh, alongside megatons of truck metal rolling, steel car frames rolling over asphalt.

"Hey Kitara!"

We kiss twice the way the Europeans do, then talked for a half hour on the street corner, breathing truck breath, talking about Joseph Beuys' drawings.

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hot truck motor fumes fill cool morning air

I repress a deep yawn.

Conflict between two people if left unresolved must seek stability from a third or other parties who serve to prop up a kind of stasis.

Much of what we are, functions to bolster what otherwise would not be stable . . . . I listen to her and I am bored. Alcoholic family. depressed brothers and sisters? Yeah Beuys is a great artist. So fucking what! I like his work too - let's get on with life.

Is an artist someone who refuses to prop up others?

I imagine art as barf, propelled, by the force of an idea. Clean up the mess I say!

I want to whisper to her . . . "Kitara, let's forget Beuys. Invite me over. I'll wash the dishes in your sink! I'll find the heap of papers that you can't face and I'll burn them. Then I'll run my fingers through your hair. I'll cover your soft pale body with cream and then we'll make endless love.

"We'll stop time. I'll trace tantras over your naked skin. I'll tickle your nether parts until you explode. We'll go to the Alphas and the Betas. I'll bring you to planets where there are no artists, and no egregious landlords. We'll mumble sweet nothings about drawings of deer guts, as we explore our wiring diagrams of fat energy. We'll sweat and make ourselves into batteries.

"We'll light up the night."

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Kitara goes her way, heavy footsteps, possessed, dogged, overloaded. She has too much on her mind. A lovely girl, demonized by her father undoubtedly, stalled in the tailwind of someone who will be forgotten, when just a few more of us are extinct.

We should be back on the plains of Africa, chewing blades of grass, waiting for the hyenas to finish the bones from last nights meal.

I'm content after my midday nap. Time to get the old ass in gear and run down a wildebeest..

What's an artist? A con man, who finds a language to win himself wealth and women.  What was the third 'W'? To quote Rubens: "I paint a woman's bottom so that I may stroke her dimpled flesh."  . . Maybe it was Fame, Fornication, and Fortune.

We're just horny hungry Homo sapiens, cruising for nooky.

What idiots these days carry the notion of artists as nice people! Particularly film-makers have encouraged this rap. The French are the worst at this. So what do we do? We ENDOW the arts!!

As if artists needed a helping hand financially. Generous but successful sufferers who through genius embrace charity. What a load of crap.

Here's a quote again from Flemish mega-success story Rubens:

"Each morning I kick the beggars and cripples off my door stoop."

Is this the kind of person you'd like to write a check to?

The man was a selfish brute! The first of the zealot capitalists. Eager to franchise, own, and devour. Bigger canvases. Bigger commissions. Bigger women's asses.

We're language recyclers, Enigma machines transmitting code to future generations. The painter or writer's tableau is a one-time pad for rendering the mysterium indecipherable. The object of the exorcism is to short circuit the bombes, i.e. code cracking machines, of those that would understand us.

Give society a stroke! A heart attack! An artist is a linguistic terrorist no doubt about it whatsoever.

Speak gibberish and get paid.

It just seems like gibberish. It is not possible for a simple human brain to devise a code that is not decipherable. Myths permeate all.

So, once art is understood it becomes language, and once becoming language it is therefor no longer art. Once comprehended, art is nothing but archeology, and the understandings about that artifact become history.  Poetic syntax therefor may be described as a linguistic modifier, an impossible radical that itself sprouts new language, like some venal virus loosened into the blood.

A spore.

"Take that bit of towel and wipe your hands."

Joe the old fairy, superintendent of our building thinks his dog can give me AIDS!

Blessed Joe. He was an artist - occasionally rescuing old vinyl records from the trash and painting on them, just like his sailor boys. A dribble of paint stops the record from playing.

Is love just a yearning for qualities that are needed to complete the Self?

"If you've got the guts to kill yourself you've got the guts to stay alive."
         Ernest Hemingway

Oh, the crap that gets quoted. Eons of eardrums, lulled to sleep by drivel.

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