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[JANUARY 2017.]

shiny black tunnel, wet, nothing but entrances

By the time i get to arizona

This is a show tune, but the show hasn't been written for it yet.

For several grade-school years in Tucson I went to class on Martin Luther King’s birthday. The generation of my father’s grandfather (who hadn’t been sorry to see King shot) had given way to my own grandfather, who thought that “they” were only five hundred years out of the trees. Being a kid, I’d try to argue with him; but he would have found the argument childish from anyone’s mouth, since his side of it was pure paternalism. Our venal car salesman of a governor thought it a matter of hardheadedness and thrift, setting aside expensive pieties for the business of business. “We have a state that is less than five percent black and a work force that is lucky to get six paid holidays a year while the state workers already get ten paid days off—and now they want to give them an eleventh paid holiday.” Or, speaking straight to the black community: “You folks don’t need another holiday; what you folks need are jobs.”

A holiday for you folks. In a world of competing factionalisms, the concept of civil rights can’t mean anything other than a chit to a single faction’s advantage. In many ways that governor of ours has been the closest thing in my own experience to our president-elect; though that fellow’s record of malfeasance did at least get him removed from office in the end.

Having just finished a book, and recognizing it as a form of repose and a form of failure as always, I was cheered up by some common sense from Agnes Martin which I happened across in the josh archive.

I hope I have made clear that the work is about perfection as we are aware of it in our minds but that the paintings are very far from being perfect – - completely removed in fact – - even as we ourselves are.

Less far than most but yes.

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