I have so much to say it’s hard to say anything at all. So many loose threads:
- Where is Henriette?
- What’s up with my teapot?
- Why is crow a parrot?
- Where am I going?
- What happens in my favorite movie, HER GREATEST LOVE?
Plus my visits to outer-space… I am having a hard time organizing all these threads.
So, to sea with the threads. Let’s talk about something that isn’t a thread but IS very popular:
Fashion is a pleasant distraction from most critical issues. (To browse all my FASHIONable posts click the FASHION tag). In my first message about FASHION I listed all the clothes I own. I’ve shown you my SWIMSUIT, but not my PARTY DRESS.
Here I am in my party dress:
I made it myself.
If you miss me while I’m cocooning in loose threads, you can watch MY MOVIE
which debuted last year right about NOW.
Now now now now…
Maybe I should make another movie out of thread.
No. That won’t help at all.
I came to my desk to write you about my teapot. I set my teapot on the desk and sat myself at the desk and lifted my pen from the desk to place it upon my scrapbook which sits upon the desk.
Then my teapot spit-up a postcard.
At first I thought it was steam, which was a little odd, even for my teapot, as I had almost finished its now-tepid tea. But the steam unfolded like a leaf, and drifted down upon my scrapbook. It was not a leaf. It was a postcard:
I don’t want to write an ode to my teapot anymore. Summer is almost over and I haven’t gone to the shore…soon it will be too cold, which will be a great burden off my shoulders. The burden of “maybe now?” is unendurable. I’m tired of being asked where I’m going. When the grasses change and the ocean foams upon the shore like the maw of Kerberus dragged up from hell, maybe crow will stop being a parrot and the birds, wistful for longer days and safer climes, will be happy to fluff up their feathers and stay inside.
Flipping through my scrapbook, it’s evident that last summer was much nicer than this summer; last summer we had fashion shows, I sported my swim-suit and drank fizzy beverages and learned how to watch movies. This summer has been one long avoidance of crow-who-is-parrot’s persistent questioning: WHERE ARE YOU GOING?
Now my teapot, my abiding paraclete, is spewing forth postcards. SPEWING FORTH. Like the ocean spews forth the drowned and the dead.
Why, why would I want to go back there?
I want a real postcard from Henriette, soon.
As I mentioned in my last post, the birds think I should hang out on the sea shore this summer. To distract them from this discomforting vein of conversation, I indulge their penchant for FASHION.
The birds like trying on hats.
Black Swan likes hats more than anybody. Black Swan would like me to do a whole series of portraits entitled “CROWNING THE INEFFABLE: Hats O EPHEMERAL GARNISHING Across the Centuries as CLASSICALLY DISPLAYED Upon the TIMELESS HEAD of the Rare BLACK SWAN.”
I refused and made him share a portrait with Hawk:
Hawk was deeply moved by the metaphysics of the plumed, dove-white hat, bound as it is by a ribbon of blue sky. I don’t really understand Hawk’s line of thinking; it has something to do with avian creation myths.
Starlings swarm beneath a veil as if it were mist over the autumn brocade of the marsh grasses:
Crow-as-parrot with a parrot in a hat so naïve, I think it is surreal:
The phoenix thinks this hat is bad-ass, especially with a ruched tunic:
I put on a hat, too. The birds suddenly silenced themselves; their heads cocked to eye my every move with beady-black intensity.
They thought I might be going outside:
WHERE ARE YOU GOING!! squawked Parrot-that-was-crow.
I could go outside. If I knew where to go.
Though I spent my formative years as an art object, I’ve always wanted to be an artist.
I like to be looked at so I decided that my first artistic project would be myself.
I have concluded, based on the information that Owl brings, that I must, therefore, be a PERFORMANCE ARTIST. My performances are primarily observed by birds; you, fair readers, witness my documentation of the event, via my scrapbook. The performance artist, Marina Abramovic, lived behind a glass wall for public viewing, and writes that the energy of the audience helped sustain her through the ascetic, ritualized ordeal. I have to sustain myself through my life without an audience, drawing energy from other sources.
The record of my performance is, in the tradition of the odalisque (rather than the whore), not promoted. It lies here, awaiting you, who might be interested in me. Maybe I am a CONCEPTUAL performance artist since my scrapbook stimulates an idea of me, my life, in your mind.
The definition of performance artist observes that we typically come from varied disciplinary backgrounds. My background hasn’t varied much; it’s usually exotic and luxe, though I have been reduced to a line upon a flat field of color. Usually, my background suggests an interior, like the obelisk. Generally, the interior exists only to couch my nakedness, the hushed lustre of my body with its inviting apparency.
I might be a multi-disciplinary performance artist. Like the movies I watch, my work exists in two dimensions + time. My life doesn’t move as fast as movie film, but, then again, I have lasted for more than two hours. I work with several types of imagery–visual and textual. Plus, according to the birds, my dreams are all in sound.
The birds are not convinced by all this. They feel they are important, independent aspects of my life, which means I might not be a performance artist, but a character in a play.
They are my existential dilemma.
They say there is no existential dilemma because this is not a play. They are wildly interested in FOOD, FASHION and FUN. They have asked me to post more on those topics, which were so popular last summer. They want me to leave the obelisk and go hang out on the shore. Ok, Ok, I say, but what does a work of art DO on the sea shore? Every time I go out there, I’m assaulted by sirens and nereids, phantom ships shooting fireworks and giant seashells whose glossy interiors sigh sad circular themes, stuffing my heart full of feelings, padding the perfect punching bag.
Black Swan says, “Put on a bathing suit!”
Hawk says, “Take a sandwich!”
The starlings make a giant beach ball in the sky and spin like a celestial globe.
Phoenix found me on the shore (see my movie), and doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about. Obelisk, sea shore, o’er the hills, any place has fuel to burn. Crow-as-Parrot still says nothing but “Where are you going?” (shut up Crow!).
If I put on a bathing suit and packed a sandwich, if I hung out on the beach and caught some rays, would the sirens go away? Would the seashells consent to being silent souvenirs? Would the ship sail back to shore with treasure to share? Would the nereids turn out to just be bait, the sirens the wiry hang-overs of a half-starved, worn-out crew?
When I ran from my former life as a decadent odalisque, I imagined being anything, anything native to the shore…not cheap toxic trash or the phantasmagoria of some sailor’s mind…I wanted to be real.
Owl recorded my dream. Listen: cosmic dream radio.
I woke up yesterday. This is what I remember:
I can’t help but think that some of this was due to one of phoenix’ flaming billet doux.
But there was no ash on my pillow when I woke up?
Where are you going? Hello.
As far as I can tell I am not moving. Well, I am, but only because I rest on this planet, which is repeating its one path around the sun. Each night, when the sun vanishes, I feel sad. It’s lonely in the obelisk without the sun’s co-habitation, once all you birds tuck your heads beneath your wings and roost, at least until I settle at my desk and set to work on my scrapbook. Then I forget to be lonely or sad. Day breaks the enclosing dome of night and I look up with a feeling of accomplishment.
Where are you going? Hello.
I should get more sleep. Maybe take a walk on the shore. Pack up my scissors, throw some buns in my teapot, and head out for some free air. I feel there is one right time for that walk and that it should lead me to one particular place. It’s terrible, Crow, for that thought–of one time, one place–fills me with dread. I do not know what time, what place, and I hovel up here bitter beneath this cosmic tyranny. I want anytime, anyplace. I would like the cosmos to operate with more ease, to unfold like the seed-head of a sea-thistle. I resent being a wheel in this cosmic machine.
Are you? Hello.
Odalisques are art. I wanted to be real so I escaped the art in which I was trapped, but still I must make of my world art. It gets very confusing. There is a quote by a famous artist, “It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.” I want to play with the world like a child.
Yes. My scrapbook is an expedition. A paper ship on the unconscious deep.
Towards no horizon. I progress through fathoms of depth and height.
Crow, here is the page I made last night. What do you think it means?
I show Crow my latest scrapbook page. I cannot show it to you because it has not yet resolved itself into a single image. It is holographic, changing with angles of light. In a forest looking down or at a city looking up or upon a dune looking out? A figure, his back is to me. No…he looks right at me, I sit on the ground, no now, behold, his arm reaches out… Crow says:
There are many things in my life which begin with the letter O. O radiant heaven, an odalisque in an obelisk lives near the ocean! You can see this on the map of where I live, posted on the about page. The ocean is to the East, which means the sun rises out of it, and the moon. As you can see from the map, there is a sand path sifted out of dunes that runs to the shore. I have not yet taken it.
I have not left the obelisk.
From my high position, I see everything around me. But vantage obscures detail, scope excludes intimacy (as the birds know, from their dreams). I am not intimated in the sift of sand, the sting of salt. I am not intimated in the shore’s cemetery, where the sea spits up its dead, only to scarf them down again.
I cannot always see the ocean from my window and this is fortunate because when I can see it, it demands all my attention. I do not understand how people live right on the ocean because I do not understand how, if they live there, they accomplish anything. The ocean demands attention, its variant surfaces of mood and weather, its volume, its aggression and retreat. Fluctuation is its constant, yet, on solid earth, it orients the movement of stars– I watch astronomical bodies revolve over it.
Ships never appear, wrecked in storms and on rocks, no doubt. Lured by turbulent dreaming, the imaginary things with which we populate the earth’s teeming, indifferent mess. Whirlpools. Sirens. Storm gods. Monstrous sea-snakes. Full fathom five who there lies? Pearls and monsters are more palatable than fact: the ocean seethes with crepuscular carnage. Tier upon tier of species, bioluminescent or dark as shadows, colorful as glass or amorphous. Furred, tentacled, wormy, lidless, blind, all feed on one another. Swallow. Scavenge. Catabolize excrement.
I watch the ocean when it is in the window of my obelisk.
The birds say it is very pleasant on the shore, when the sun is middling high and breezes blow. That I should put on some clothes and go for a stroll. Take a parasol. Some scissors. A picnic. A towel.
But I have not walked there. I have not walked there.
One day I will go.
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