from AN ADVANCED COURSE IN BEING LOST
I’m so nervous about my life the little of it I can get ahold of
-- Frank O’Hara
I went out, several night ago, to a celebration party. It was not enjoyable. The party was not a success. Turns out America does not want to be America any more. It doesn’t even want to pretend to be America. (Will a name change be forthcoming?) Everything that matters to me is due now to be cancelled -- and I am only told, again and again, that the key to survival is to resume fixation upon one’s own petty concerns as soon as possible. Personal responsibility is what this is called.
I trust everyone will keep in mind non-stop that comfortable white people urge you to just stay positive.
The first time I felt safe, after my father announced his intention to slit my throat, and stab me with a knife, and my brother explained to me that Dad wasn’t crazy, “just very frustrated”, was weeks later, in ancient Egypt, at the Met, where I arrived and at once began to weep.
Ostracon is the singular. The plural is ostraca. The note on the glass explains: Egyptian artists and scribes made practice sketches and drafts on broken pieces of pottery, or flakes of limestone. I admire how they make use of the brokenness, collaborate with it, find in it an ally. The lion crouches in the narrow edge, a stag rears in the broad, a line is drawn, then redrawn.