Sunday, February 5, 2012

Transient Possessions, trying again

 These are photograph of two "untitled (transient possession), 2012 which are slightly larger than letter size, tintoretto 300 gr paper, a collaborative project from the Isabella Steward Gardner Museum by Cesare Pietroiusti and visitors who drew on them with ferrogallic ink or dark Boston beer.

Each of mine, two from the iron ink and one drawn on with beer, were given to me by a friend who could not have known how significant her timing is, in light of the class I'm trying to teach. The premise of the iron ink is that "the holder of his drawing commits to give it away to the first person they meet who asks a question they don't know the answer to, and that person also agrees, assuring temporary possession. (I am in temporary possession of #'s 341 and 319.)

The one drawn on in dark boston beer says that the holder commits to give it away, three months after having received it, to a person of their choice who lives south of them...and that person commits to... etc. That is #377.   And is not pictures here.  All three are signed in pencil by the visitor who marked upon them and by Cesare Pietroiusti who designed this project.

The friend who handed them to me, after I asked her a question she couldn't answer (she could define light year), had no idea how relevant they are to the class I'm trying to teach.

Perhaps I will be lucky and able to post two images from the Atheneum where I went with Susan last Thursday. It could be a wonderful $5 day outing, sitting in one of those red chairs, reading and writing, thinking. I'd never been there and was not entirely comfortable, to be truthful. It's very old, old, old money and comfort, plying white gloves, stockings and comportment. I am just too scuffed and dented for that environment, but I delighted in Susan's delight and would, on my own, go back for a day. I did realized how easily I could cheat on the entrance fee merely by turning my back, raising my arm and pretending to deposit my bill into the glass box. Mrs. Mountain would not have been looking.  (I was briefly Mrs. Peacock, during my one and only and, as I said, extremely brief marriage. She hadn't much sense of humor, but I enjoyed teasing her.)

I've given a lot of recent thought to why I can't hear poetry that depends on the sound of language. This became especially clear when a friend repeated his favorite poem to me, waiting expectantly for my response to the beauty which he had just spoken. He couldn't believe it had gone over my head, that nothing stuck. My daughter's diagnosis of auditory discrimination problems seems, to least to me, to describe what I have, though not seriously enough to be declared dyslexic. If I can catch the words, and see pictures from then, therefore find meaning, I can listen effectively. If I don't recognize the words and can't attach a picture, I'm lost. Usually I give up and just sit there, thinking about something else because if I try to follow, I'm so way behind when I catch something visual, that it's useless.

Melissa Green loves arcane words and we joke about the chasm between us...I totally respect and accept her joy in the sound, the sight, the pleasure that these words give her and she might understand that I have a command of a certain number of words, and that I consider even these lying, cheating bastards. She probably doesn't understand the root-cause of my inability to just flow along with the beauty of a reading.        It's the same with music, it goes over me and I can't hold on to any of it. Even Mozart and Bach, which I enjoy for what I assume to be an almost mathematical precision, just flows along, none of it sticking. I recognize one aria, some Satie that I danced to when I was taking lessons, and one other piece of music...they are all particularly mournful, so that's probably the reason, cries of loss that are so plaintive that even I can understand them.

It was wonderful to see Melissa Green read, how well her work was received, how muchly appreciated she and her work were.

Lucky is 14 and went deaf quite recently, quiet quickly. And his owner realized that he didn't know enough hand signals...

No, she won't get another dog. She's 72 and might not outlive it.


  1. It is so interesting to hear you talk about not hearing poetry that depends on the sound of language. While I was reading and relating to that paragraph, I was also thinking about how music is the same for me, and then moved on to where you talk about difficulty with music also.

    For me, I think it has much to do with an inability to clearly recognize and differentiate between certain sounds and also an inability to focus well on anything I can't see.

    The Cesare Pietroiusti project looks quite interesting.

  2. I am smitten with the red chair photo, lighted like a Hopper painting and hinting in a hushed tone of old money. Transient Possessions, any art that has us in cahoots with each other, is fascinating, especially the rules. Reminds me of Sherlock Holmes and The Musgrave Ritual in a way I can't possibly articulate. xo

  3. transient possessions is how i aspire to lead my life.....