WRITING FOR AIR
This is a copy of someone else’s painting, but the border and the mounting approach are original.
I’m working on draft two of a new novel, called Everything In Water. Visual artists get to share their work, so I wanted to share mine. I call this piece, Page 1.
On his birthday, every year,
his brother-in-law, Milwaukee brewed,
takes him bowling at the Big Ten Lanes.
Every year, by the third frame,
he wants wine in a glass,
Coltrane’s Blue Train, and pot.
This year he plans to
write something he started this summer,
when his lawn died, and he had to fire a friend to save his grass.
A car will roll by mid-morning, he will lose his train of thought,
his allergies will make it hard to think,
his daughter will need him to kill a bug,
but when it’s time to bowl, he will
let the phone scream and scream,
then write some more, this manly man.
Every painting takes away and gives. The taking from is always my fault, and should never be blamed on the art I’m trying to make.
I curse when my finger drags through chalky black pastel, forcing me to enter the always risky land of “removing.”
Each time I find paint smeared on the handle of a brush, or on the outside of my hand, which happens every single time I paint and should therefore be expected, I act as if an evil spirit has inhabited my studio for the sole purpose of keeping me from succeeding.
In the end, magically, all this taking doesn’t matter. I look at what I have done, and smile. Look, I think, even an over-emotional high-strung eccentric can make art. And then I thank art, for not caring about my deficiencies, for ignoring my imperfections, for inviting me back to the one place I have found that welcomes anyone willing to try.