Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Henry Miller In A Bath Towel

Art is the uranium of an ecstatic superfluity. Its most salient characteristic is its uselessness. It serves no purpose. This is also the source of its joy and liberation. Its potential for sedition. The heat of a word hungry for a mouth. A fat wet metaphor emphatic as a steel elbow. The many fluids of chaos. The vividness of whiskey. Montmartre. Reverie. Stars and stars and stars as far as you can see.

Most perceptions are pertinent to survival. They let us know what’s going on in the environment. What action to take. But the innumerable sensations that inundate us each second suggest something much larger and exciting going on than mere survival. Most of our sensations serve no actual purpose. Life is largely arbitrary. Art is arbitrary. Life and art are the twin cartwheels of a single perception.

The airplane rattles at high altitudes. The air is thin and the clouds are exotic. If you make marks in silk or milk you press the skin of heaven. I squeeze a fresh orange and a Macedonian summer oozes from the membrane. I wear the mask of a long blue feeling, being and nothingness condensed into mud.

Space believes it is a narrative. Over there stands Henry Miller in a bath towel. He is bald and incandescent. Beads of wax ooze down the side of a candle.

Words are worlds. Each consonant is a garden. Every vowel is a detour.

Monuments are lies. The government hangs by a miracle, blooming in hallucination.

I talk to a dancer at a strip club. The sparkle on her nipples is scrupulously arbitrary. She is a clear menace, like a rattlesnake. But a menace to what? The excitement aroused is menacing. Excitement is intrinsically mutinous.

I love summers when my feet burn on the sidewalk. A hose brings water from the house. It splatters on the concrete, getting our legs wet. I grip the nozzle and sing to it. Baby, it’s you.

As we receive more sensations than are necessary, our physicality is equally larger than what is required for killing and eating or finding shelter or reproducing. Consider dance. Consider a somnolent village in Crete. The pungent smell of Cubist paint. Any paint. Consider the bubble that has formed on the nozzle of the can of shaving lotion. The feeling of fresh linen. Orthogonal refractory lips. Words floating in a French café.

The house of language welcomes all strangers. It is a sensation similar to Robert Browning.

The blade of the knife seethes with light. Flashes the summer sun back at itself. My hands emerge from my sleeves and begin to flirt with everybody. I am invited to leave. I hit the waves and surf home.

Can you explain this wart? The whole point of the wart is to break the monotony of skin. Take the energy of a scream. Beads of water on the bottom of a frying pan. The perception takes fire. A pair of eyes lift the world into the brain. Here is where art unrolls like a map  and shows us where to go to get more subtleties of space under our proverbial belts. Ears help the eyes to understand the colors on the canvas as forms of music, tuna sandwich and a cup of coffee.

How deep is your mind? Is there a way to measure such depths? After the conquest of Alabama, I nailed to a wrinkle to my lip, and ate it. How difficult it is to be simple.

I get a job. I scrape rust from the hull of a ship. I keep thinking about the force of amber. Clouds drift overhead like cadavers. The sky is dead. This is why it generally goes when I ‘m working. When does an image become a thought? There are days in which I sit around doing nothing. And those are the best days of all. Each feeling is freighted with a million wings. Dawn is magisterial. Especially when you’ve been up all night drinking. London floats through itself. The Beatles are a group again. Summers are stunning. We hunt for spices in the woods. The plumbing laughs like a flower.

Art makes uselessness a necessity. Each individual is a remarkable domain, an ensemble of profligate sensations and arbitrary acts. Vision, touch, smell, hearing, and movement lead us to linger in their sensation, to act for their growth and duration, to augment their intensity. Pleasure invites more pleasure. Desire grows desire. Appetite increases appetite. Art awakens an inexplicable hunger. It agitates a curious need. It visits the senses like the sweet sound that breathes upon a bank of violets, stealing and giving odor. It cannot be exhausted.

The quickest way to kill something is to give it a purpose. A utility. The orchid cannot be pushed into being. The rose cannot be ripped from its bud.

The drawing carries a skeleton in its lines. Collar studs and chaos give it dimension. Ocher opens the landscape to fable. The arrival of wings, the surrealism of string. Words in a chain. A meaning polished until it shines, and a genie flows out in a volume of smoke, delinquent as amphetamine. Henry Miller in a bath towel. Exuberant as spring.

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