Thursday, February 28, 2013

I've got nothing

Really.  Oh my God -- what if I've got nothing left?  It's the fear of artists everywhere.  What if I've run out of shit?

This is the 2000th post of The Year of Magical Painting so I wanted to make it a good one.  But I've got nothing to say.  I've run out of shit.  Lord have mercy.

It's not like I'm not doing anything.  I'm right in the middle of pasting newspaper onto the canvas that now sits where Study for Marcus Goldman used to; the canvas that will become The Myth of American Exceptionalism.  I peeled my yellow Playtex gloves off to type this post.  I'm wearing Playtex gloves -- Playtex Living Gloves is the actual term (how odd) -- because experience has shown me that the combination of newsprint and acrylic primer creates some really weird white stuff that will NOT come off unless you sit in the shower and scrub.  Hard.

So I've peeled off my gloves, hoping to makes something wonderful happen here on the page, and I seem to have nothing.  Check that.  I've got something.  I've got that bitter, coppery taste in my mouth that tells me I'm afraid.  Terribly afraid.  I'm reminded of the time I'd have spent in Vietnam if I'd been drafted.

So at least I've got that.

And I've got my painting of my old friend Lilah S.

Which is timely because we appear to be in Lent and I appear to have either missed or ignored Ash Wednesday.  Sic transit gloria Mundi.

But that's old stuff.  What about new stuff?  What if there is none?  What if nobody writes anything interesting on my Uncle Sam sculpture?  What if, no matter how hard I beat my fist on the door of City Hall, nobody's gonna give me access to two hundred confiscated, disabled firearms?  And given that, what if I never get even the first PeaceWork off the ground?

Are you being too hard on yourself?
Dunno.  Am I?
C'mon.  This is the 2000th post!  You've Done the Ton.
I suppose.
I bet TYOMP is cresting 500,000 words by now.  It's a magnum opus!
I suppose.

And here's something new!  I just dripped a big goober of primer into the inside of my shoe.  Usually it goes on the outside, but I'd slipped them off, so as not to get paint on them, and now there's paint on the inside.

So that's something.

Can I say one thing without you ridiculing me?
It's been quite a ride my friend.  
Yes it has.
I wouldn't have done it with anybody but you.
Sic transit gloria Mundi.
Is that a Pope thing?
Yeah.  This is his last day.
On the 2000th post!
Well, I guess that's something.
Yes it is.  Do you think we should close with a song?
I can't imagine it any other way.

Livin on the road my friend, is gonna keep you free and clean
Now you wear your skin like iron
Your breath as hard as kerosene
You weren't your momma's only boy, but her favorite one it seems
She began to cry when you said goodbye
And sank into your dreams

Pancho was a bandit boy, his horse was fast as polished steel
He wore his gun outside his pants
For all the honest world to feel
Pancho met his match you know on the deserts down in Mexico
Nobody heard his dyin words, ah but that's the way it goes
All the Federales say, they could've had him any day
They only let him slip away, out of kindness I suppose

Lefty he can't sing the blues all night long like he used to
The dust that Pancho bit down south ended up in Lefty's mouth
The day they laid poor Pancho low, Lefty split for Ohio
Where he got the bread to go, there ain't nobody knows
All the Federales say, they could've had him any day
They only let him slip away out of kindness I suppose

The boys tell how old Pancho fell, and Lefty's livin in cheap hotels
The desert's quiet, Cleveland's cold
And so the story ends we're told
Pancho needs your prayers it's true, but save a few for Lefty too
He only did what he had to do, and now he's growing old
All the Federales say, they could've had him any day
They only let him go so long, out of kindness I suppose

A few gray Federales say, they could've had him any day
They only let him go so long, out of kindness I suppose

The New York Times cover story on the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School is glued, not by accident, to the lower left part of the thing that will become The Myth of American Exceptionalism.

Adios, Pancho.
Arrivederci, Lefty.
I've got a big fucking lump in my throat, man.
I guess that's something.


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