Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note
“Lately, I’ve become accustomed to the way
The ground opens up and envelopes me
Each time I go out to walk the dog.
Or the broad edged silly music the wind
Makes when I run for a bus…
Things have come to that.
And now, each night I count the stars.
And each night I get the same number.
And when they will not come to be counted,
I count the holes they leave.
Nobody sings anymore.
And then last night I tiptoed up
To my daughter’s room and heard her
Talking to someone, and when I opened
The door, there was no one there…
Only she on her knees, peeking into
Her own clasped hands”-Amiri Baraka
Leroi Jones is Amiri Baraka
Ive been doing things lately like a little girl. Sucking a mug on to my chin, sitting in the bathtub cupping warm water to my face, putting my head on my knees, tasting and smelling the wet skin, watching the whirlpool of water tornado down the drain. Realizing other artists do things I did or want to do. Realizing I hold back because of what people think. Mostly followers on social media who are family or from work. Im not an artist there and youre not supposed to be in everyday life. At a grocery store, right? But no. And I haven’t come out as an artist. Yet I guess. Interesting thought.
Interested in the road signs still. Bright, simple, definite, taken for granted? and graphic against the complex backdrop cloth of weeds, also taken for granted. Is being an artist sitting, walking, noticing and then calling it out, talking about it? And nostalgia. I asked an almost retired coworker if she ever held a cup on her face by mouth suction and she laughed and said, “when I was a kid”
I did it yesterday and I’m in my 30s. It leaves a mark I realized after and then I had to go to work. I put make up on. I guess I can say I’m a performance artist.
I feel stuck by debt. And I think, I don’t want to die though. I’m afraid of death. I and other people have had the thought of driving into the other side of the road into the oncoming vehicles. I’ve had a couple bad dreams lately, battles, beheading, somegirl’s self infliction, hospitals. And speaking if afraid of death, I hear Buddhist or mindfulness sayings of not being afraid of death. Really? Listening to Thomas Merton on Zen and Hasidism. I think I mentioned this already. The Center. I’m trying to bring that into my composition.
Also thinking, always thinking, for years about “your artist statement. And wanting to write poetry and make handmade books and learn mold making and become a sculptor and also become a painter. To focus on something I guess. I just need to keep making little pieces of applique or something and keep putting them together. Don’t worry about the end composition.
I’ve been typing my thoughts as I see the images, other people’s work, their stories, my fascinations, in hopes it all comes together, relates, is my artist’s statement.
Anselm Kiefer wanted to be a writer. He is a painter. He’s also a sculptor. I’m reading his notebooks.
I don’t have time. Don’t say negative things like that. Positive affirmations…
Anselm Kiefer has a few studios around the world, storage containers of large paintings and materials, grounds for scupltures which are uninhabitable buildings. An scrapped aeroplane. These things, paintings in galleries, must be preserved and take up space in the world. And other artists, outsider artists work might just get thrown in the trash, undiscovered. Meanwhile, let’s say, a Picasso sketch in a napkin, if there was one, is worth alot of money. I want my work to be functional, lived on and with, changeable, wear it out. Quilts. Kiefers work is about change too. He puts the paintings in the elements, outdoors lets them age, rust. Is this my contribution to people right now-Art that will be usable, make them feel nostalgic. I would like one day to be a part of community. Have it all makes sense and integrate like Theaster Gates in Chicago. He created Marble bank note scupltures and sold them to a Swiss Bank, raising money to create a beautiful art community center restored from an abandoned bank in the community. The marble, dug from that abandoned building. The work taken from the place put back to the place.
I take the work from the place, the memories, the childish and mindful acts of us all and put it back to you right now. Why don’t you agree? Why don’t you love me, my love? Help me pay the bills instead of yourself. This is a love call and a love trap. And this damn auto correct always makes love live. I’d rather misspell than be auto corrected and I’m not even miss spelling, it is filling in what it thinks I’m saying as I’m saying it. I’m not finished.
Realizing there are no definitives. No answers. There are decisions you can go back on. If everything flows there’s no death. If there’s no God (autocorrected to Good) there’s nothing but the taste of skin today. Worry was yesterday. Tomorrow you still won’t have everything.
How do you write poetry?
I was writing haikus. Want to combine them in a volume. He said he’d letterpress me a book once I write 500 poems (because, unspoken, he doesn’t think that would happen). Well, I’ve been writing haikus and one line poems, my love. And my title is going to be “500 poems”. I Loved you. Love you.
And just realize what I think about. Make a mental list. Think about it instead of the man who doesn’t really want to talk to you. Just wants to f you. It’s the best kissing you’ve ever had in your life. Sometimes you can separate things. It is very difficult. Very insecure right now. The state of things. But as I’ve read many places, everything you need is in you. You already have it. Put your mouth on your knee, taste it. That’s me. Rest your head there. Suck like a baby. Comfort. Go back to that place of comfort. Center. I was in the center of my mother’s body and I didn’t even know it at the time. Pure. Pure something.
Realizing you hold yourself back from being what you are because you don’t deserve to be that free because you “need to lose weight” or you’re in debt and live with your parents. And that one guy you dated (he said dating, I said hanging out) depends on his parents and you think you don’t like that. Just keep working at it one piece at a time. Like patchwork. That endless patchwork quikt you imagine you want to make, without a top or bottom or edges. just from the center. Don’t let the bad feelings get in the way of your relationships and your self. Try. Focus, don’t be distracted by renunciation, abandonment, security breaches, that man doesn’t really love you. Don’t even let it get to that point. You’re deciding. Ignoring the bright and simple road signs that are there to keep you in order. You really want to suffer, don’t you? Living between signs. Is art. Make the art the sign…art signal. I cry out from the top of the hill, my precipice, in silent smoke breath from myself warning you or inviting you.
And now I’m ready to get out of bed and realized my hip hurts. I had headaches for a couple weeks. and I remember now how none of my bullshit worry, pre occupying mental stuff matters after an episode of vertigo. I feel so thankful and happy to feel better and that is all. No thoughts. Trying to do yoga without the thoughts.