From my writing journal spring 2010, trying to work on this book. After getting a phone call from a person I love about spending the day lost on country roads and almost getting arrested and knowing a mania was growing and nothing I could do about it I spent a couple hours in the Ohmega Salvage Yard in berkeley looking at the many colored toilets and a pile of giant red letters from a dismantled store sign. Someone at the store had arranged four of them to weigh down a tarp and spell “KILL.” I wanted to buy some letters, or one, but I couldn’t decide which I would get. Their fronts came off like lids and the lighting mechanisms were inside. I was torn between picking one for its shape vs for its function. I wrote that I suspected this was related to my writing difficulties.
Meanwhile there was a big day of John Cage yesterday and I am trying to come to terms with how I always like the ideas of work in that tradition (fluxus stuff, olipoli or whatever I can never remember) but once the concept is communicated all I can get into is the object– the container for the idea– which may or may not be goodlooking like things in salvage yards, but never the content– not the music I’ve heard the dance I’ve watched (well, I’ve had better luck with that) or the writing I’ve looked at, if not really read, whatever that would be. Like I balk at being asked to do the thing, and just imagine for a split second whether the doing the thing is any more interesting that just saying that something could be done. If a house is a machine for living and a work of art is a machine for experience, but you look at the machine without getting in, well whatever a gun is one thing and then if you shoot it it’s another thing and then if it hits someone it’s another thing.