March 2008


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 This morning is hot, and April is here bringing with it the leaves falling from the deadening trees that wither in the heat – it brings with it a birthday, and a sense that everything anyone has ever said is undoubtedly true.

 

The green tea is hot, and in the morning heat it seems a bit redundant, but with it comes an awakening sense of reality. The mind skips and jumps, as it tends to do in the morning. It thinks about getting a shave, or what’s going on at work, or the Spaniard last night who we stayed with until they closed down the rooftop terrace and turned of the lights and the music – all the blares of the Delhi street succumbed to the heavy night, and we noticed how the moon was in a crescent in the shape ‘U’ unlike the moon when it rises over Gardeners Bay or the Balearic Coast. The mind moves all which ways, and with the steamy tea, it is important to center, to breath, and let the mind stop racing, forcibly or through a natural course of actions. And then it is only the palms trees and the students studying for their big test coming up next week. It is only the beggars crying on the street – making their daily rounds. Then there is stillness and the silent green parrots perch on the electric wires that string mangled from light post to light post.  

 

It is a holy morning for all sorts of reason, but the mind does not go to Martin Luther King, or more appropriately Gandhi; the mind fixates of Cho. The stupid idiot Cho. With his bizarre rambling and the pictures, the one with him and a hammer, that one and the one where he looks like he is going to cut his own neck but actually he looks like he is falling asleep. The mind skips to these with increased frequency. Mohammed Atta flying into the towers seems outdated, thoroughly 21st century. This is too futuristic this morning. We are 13th century, we are without time or place, we are without geopolitical affairs and exist only in the grips of a personal struggle taking place on a marbled inlaid terrace at seven forty five in the morning.

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Freedom, at all costs. The escape from the crushing reality that this is post-modern truth; that life comes as easily as it goes, and the icebergs melt, and the elephants on the side of the road probably aren’t happy to be painted like a fool; the are proud beasts, like a man, only larger, and more dignified.

 

Okay, Gandhi is their now, but only the images Henri Cartier-Bresson captured, where he is being revered, and he seems too far abstracted. Then MLK and his speech, not the one about having a dream, the one about freedom ringing begin to blare through the loudspeakers on the minaret of the mosque. And the children studying in the park put down their books – global solidarity.

 

There is no Martin Luther King speech on the speakers, there aren’t even images of Gandhi’s body being deified; there is only Cho. His plea for freedom seeming as true as anything else. McBeef singularly retarded and shallow in any hopes of leaving behind some sort of metaphoric legacy; Cho, if only he could have written something good. His rambling his unadulterated madness is his only legacy; his willingness to get free or die trying.

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If the mind found other things to think of, perhaps the morning would be more holy, but this morning there is only the sense of impending freedom, the realization of a nonviolent life; this morning is different than all the others because April is around the corner, and the mind is thinking of Cho – no this morning is like the rest, and that freedom may or may not be a gilded cell. Are we men ever free?

 

It is too much, and gulping the tea burns and centers the mind there, on the esophagus on fire.

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A: “I rented the whole house, I didn’t want to deal with the neighbors – you know? Like I just didn’t want to deal with it. So when the Argentine circus came through, and I would be walking home from the studio – I was the only one at least pretending to practice my art, and they were juggling fire on my lawn, I was like — I was like, man, there could have been an elephant there and I wouldn’t have thought much about it. You know? Fuck JP Morgan and all that shit, I don’t have the temperament. I would be dead, strung out on coke if I stayed in New York, so I went down there, Peru? Ecuador? And I was like – I was like, I am going to work on my art, I am going to be funny and meaningful, so in ten years when my phone is ringing and I am on the beach and the break is awesome or whatever, and the guy inside the phone is talking about a show or whatever, I can be like ‘yeah, buy my ticket and I’ll be there.”

 

B: “or you could be like ‘fuck you, the break is heavy’.”

 

A: “exactly! Fucking exactly man.”

 

C: “Terrorists aren’t poor and stupid, they act consciously, and they are murders.”

 

D: “there is meaning in those acts of desperation.”

 

C: “I can’t buy into the larger cause you are talking about, how can you even believe that?”

 

B: “the fact that they aren’t poor, they aren’t stupid, speaks only to the weight of the oppression they feel.”

 

D: “I hide behind my lenses, I was sitting there watching my fathers transformation from middle age to oldness, and by nature my transformation into manhood. With my father closer to death, so am I; it is exactly what Laccan said, there is only death.”

 

B: “And Camus?”

 

D: “it is juvenile really. I was sitting there, filming my father cry, it take a heart with chards of ice to be a filmmaker.”

 

E: “or the willingness to exploit your family for some personal gain.”

 

D: “untrue! Unfair! I am processing the world in the only way I can.”

 

C: “but what about these terrorists?”

 

B: “do you believe the US government was complicit in 9/11?”

 

C: “no, absurd claims by these conspiracies disconnect from the reality of the situation, and the emotional trauma caused. It is impossible to think of the Bushes and whoever, actively choosing to kill 3500 Americans.”

B: “his father actively transported and aided the manufacturing of crack cocaine in the urban inner cities throughout the early to mid eighties. With the proceeds they armed ‘democratic resistances’ around the world. The end result of the resistances were untold hundreds of thousands of murdered farmers, and other who believed in the possibility of communism to free them from the pressures of the free market, and the race to the bottom.”

 

C: “George Bush sold crack to Harlem?”

 

B: “not in hand-to-hands, but yes.”

 

C: “and?”

 

B: “if you do your research, and see the truth in that, it is not hard to make a logical leap that the collateral damage, be they citizens or international reputations, is measured, and the circulation of capital among the top 3% since 9/11 has increased.”

 

C: “it can’t be greed, its stupidity.”

 

D: “tell me more about the human consciousness then.”

 

E: “it is an algorithm, they loved me in Yale. I like New Haven very much.”

 

E begins to laugh his satanic girl chuckles. Throws his head back, his arms flail. It is like he has never moved this much in his life. A glass of water gets knocked over.

 

A: “and I was on this yacht at the Venice thing – you know, the biennial or whatever. And it is this Russian billionaire and his wife, who is gorgeous. And she wants to fuck, I can tell. And I am trying to get commissioned as the artist in residence. And this guys yacht, it’s the smallest one that is docked over here, and it is like 60 meters. And it is the smallest one. It is all relative poverty you know? Whatever, they bought a piece, and they fucking lowballed the shit out of me. Sorry, tell me you name again –“

 


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Easter was different this year. Why? Because it was impossible to refute the miracles.

 

We always respected the Greeks and their fine attention to Lint. On that little island in the Mediterranean we gave up something for those forty days, whether it was meat or women can’t be recalled, but likely it was neither – most likely it was an ideological fast, a redetermining of the senses. The orthodox priests were out all the same, painting and repainting those cubist hovels that crowded the cobble stoned sidewalks. The mornings were bright, and the paint smelled like egg shells, and by the thirtieth day every crevice had been covered. Still there were ten days left, and the priests and old hags were faithfully painting those last ten days.

 

There was the smog choked afternoon in Santiago, Chile, when a fine brown linen suit purchased over in the Left Bank was dry cleaned and without a crease. An English man poured Sprite in his beer and told us it was an Easter tradition. Which sounded likely. He was unwilling to put on a collared shirt and we wouldn’t bring a drunkard to church, not because he would be unwelcome — Jesus was on the cross with crooks – but because he had been on a righteous bender, and couldn’t help the slippery farts he lets loose in three minute intervals. That morning was grey, and our lungs queezed in pollution. There were lobster ravioli’s blackened with squid ink, some fine meat and fresh baked bread in a restaurant that was completely empty.  There was a cable car up a mountain, and a llama, and finally the last part of a service that was in latin. We didn’t take communion, but petted the llama and took a walk into the middle of town where the theater was playing the Last Temptation Of Christ for the first time ever in Santiago. The theater was filled, and people smoked, and when Jesus made love to Mary we cheered a mighty cheer.

 

It was a McDonalds In Punta Del Este the next year. It was always quiet on Sundays, but this one more than ever. We ate Big Macs, because it was in fashion those days, and looked at some old books that one of the vendors had put onto the street. there was nothing holy, only a promise to make sure that we wouldn’t eat Big Macs for Easter anymore.

 

There was an Easter in Montana, when every church in town had an electronic keyboard and a funky blonde bass player who was totally in to the rocking spirit. We wore pastel plaids and a tie – to be sure no one on Easter wore ties. There were big flaked biscuits and creamy white gravy, with eggs and sausage and bacon and coffee. Unsatisfied by church we went into the mountains, and only now does that become clear.

 

There was an Easter in New York, where there had been a party of sorts the night before, and the sun rose, and we ate waffles and were driven to church in Harlem. The singing made the soul ring with truth. We talked with a communist on 125th street and looked to do some shopping. It was clouded and the D train went straight to the Indian place on 56th. We ate a lamb curry and feel asleep watching a Laker game.

 

This Easter was in the Himilayas. It was good. The Polish weren’t Christians, and the Muslim wasn’t Hindi. So we gave a sermon, right when the flakes started falling, and the four of us in the tent looked onto this peak lit by the full moon, covered in new snow.

See, Jesus came back from the dead, and that is the point right?

Miracles!

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