The best writing in the world, period. There is proof.
Jan. 21, 2003
volume i, issue ix
the end, we tell you
On Wednesday I write and watch the local news until noon.
The Guggenheim is just a short walk from 92nd street. Inside are a spiral of Brazilian works and important 18th century religious art painted on wooden panels and removed from old churches. But I'm not interested in all this.
Farther in, Picasso and Braque deconstruct mandolins and coffee tables into perfectly sliced pieces of measured brown and black paint. Nothing looks at all out of place, although everything has been moved, stretched, and straightened.
I wonder how you can look at the world and tear it apart so correctly. It's madness; it's angular and random. But you couldn't improve a single brushstroke.
I wonder if I could ever tear apart the world so beautifully.
Around me, people stop and mumble in every age and language imaginable, more so than any other section of New York that I've been to. And they all stare so hard at those beautifully misarranged brushstrokes. They're all as mystified as I am.
O--if only they'd look so mystified at the sidewalks outside, at the hot dog vendors and gigantic dogs, at the escalator teeth and subway belly. If only they'd look at life with such delicately furled brows--
But then there would be no reason for me to be here, reporting cracks in the tiles of the Guggenheim by Picasso's Accordionist. They twist through drops of Monet tiles with Pollock precision.
Some of them belong on the wall the all the painters. What difference after all is the brushstroke from the boot sole?
Sweat stairs, shopping bags, orange stands, subway grates, steam is machine sweat, chocolate labs, pretty girls in dark sunglasses, furniture on two feet, old German couples asking me, "please--supermarket in the street--number?"
Young couples with wilder accents, hats, strollers, oceans of cabs.
Half-naked women on telephone booths, black girls, white girls, yellow girls, auburn girls, pale girls, electric girls, transparent girls, grouped girls, mother girls, daughter girls, suspicious girls blink and flutter.