Tuesday, March 30, 2010


My high school art teacher is famous for suspending himself
with hooks from office ceilings and from high rise
window washing scaffolds. It’s hard not to live in his
shadow as he is also famous for being naked and painting
his body in the ash of cremated road kill. I always wanted
to live up to that but because he wasn’t my parent it didn’t
really matter anyway and if I fell short with my pen rubbings
of giant robots or a clutch of chickens beheaded by chainsaws
it was ok because he was older and famous already
and I couldn’t expect to be famous myself just by cutting
holes in my skin or reworking my neurons with old
used computer wiring. Heck, I don’t even know how to
wire or do electrical so I probably shouldn’t feel bad about
that either although if I really put my mind to it I could
learn to dance, lose weight or peal my skin back over my head
like one of those sex robots whose mouths are always open
in strange wonder. No, I suppose I won’t become a robot
like my high school art teacher. One time I saw someone
high up on a building who looked like they were going to jump
and I stared up with my mouth open in preparation for
horror or disgust or orgasm and I thought about my High
school art teacher and for a second I thought it might be him
up there getting ready to put an end to it all because art
had failed to remake man, or because truth really was relative
or whatever reason artists destroy themselves for, art I guess.
Then I thought I hoped it wasn’t, that it wasn’t anyone who
was really going to jump off there and splatter paint
the sidewalk, though it might have been interesting to try
with a robot filled with paint to simulate the world weary
feeling I get from robots or automatic doors or lift gates
that I think about at night before I go to sleep, how they
must be tired of going up and down or in and out over
and over without crying. But then it really wasn’t anyone
up there and I was glad because if it was my high school
art teacher then I wouldn’t have the chance to tell him
that I wanted to be meaningful or relevant but that I didn’t
have the courage to step off that ledge. I imagine him
smiling, his bald futuristic head wrinkling a little from that,
and saying it was often alright not to function correctly.
Then he’d walk out of my head on his giant spider legs.