Apainting tells a story but viewed from dif-
ferent time and positions simultaneously.
Cézanne shows a pear seen close up, at a dis-
tance, from various angles and in different
light. . . the pear at dawn, midday, twilight. . .
all compacted into one pear . . . time and
space in a pear, an apple, a fish. Still life? No
such thing. As he paints, the pear is ripening,
rotting, shrinking, swelling.
An example from my own painting: A
flooded, washed-out bridge seen from the
side. An approaching truck seen head-on
from a distance, the moment when the driver
sees that the bridge is gone, a close-up of his
face, the fear and calculations written on his
face as he unhooks the seat belt. Applies the
brakes. All happening at the same time so far
as the viewer is concerned.
Take a picture by Brion Gysin: “Outskirts
of Marrakech.” Phantom motor scooters and
bicycles. Solid scooters and bicycles. A place
where the painter had been many times at,
many different times. As he walks he sees a
scooter from yesterday, last year. Perhaps
from tomorrow as well, since he is painting
from a position above time.
And so dreams tell stories, many stories. I
am writing a story, if it could be so called,
about the Mary Celeste. I am painting scenes
from the story I am writing. And I am
dreaming about the Mary Celeste, the
dreams feeding back into my writing and
painting. A burst of fresh narrative: the Ce-
lestial Babies and the Azore Islands . . . di-
gression and parentheses, other data seem-
ingly unrelated to the saga of the Mary
Celeste, now another flash of story . . . a long
parenthesis. Stop. Change. Start.
Should I tidy up, put things in a rational
sequential order? Mary Celeste data togeth-
er? Flying dreams together? Land of the
Dead dreams together? Packing dreams to-
gether? To do so would involve a return to
the untenable position of an omniscient
observer in a timeless vacuum. But the ob-
server is observing other data, associations
flashing backward and forward.
For example, I just remembered a dream
where I met a man called Slim I allegedly
knew thirty years ago in London. Slim? I
don’t remember. Thirty years ago? A dull
ache . . . “old unhappy far-off things” . . . I
meet Slim at the doorway of some apart-
ment. What does he look like? Grey, an-
onymous face dimmed out of focus? What is
he wearing? Grey suit, grey tie, suggestion of
scarf and a watch chain.
You see, I am seeing him as he was thirty
years ago, five years ago, yesterday, today . . .
like Brion’s motor scooter in Marrakech. So I
should put Slim back there in the paragraph
about Brion’s Marrakech painting? I don’t
think so. Who runs can read.
I am using myself as a reference point of
view to assess current and future trends.
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This is not megalomania. It is simply the
only measuring artifact available. Observer
William: 023. Trends can be compacted into
one word . . . GAP. Widening GAPs. GAP
between 023 and those who can club seal
cubs to death, set cats on fire, shoot out the
eyes of lemurs with slingshots. (Oh sure, they
are poor and hungry. From 023 they can get
poorer and hungrier: 023 doesn’t care if they
starve to death. There is no empathy, no
common ground.) Those who say: “I think
animals are a splendid tool for research.” . . .
Most of it quite useless. But so it does save
lives. Human lives. Too many already. . . 023
doesn’t care. He contributes to Greenpeace,
the Primate Center at Duke University, to
“no-kill” animal shelters. Not a dime for can-
GAP between 023 and antidrug hysterics
like Daryl Gates, Chief of Police of Los
Angeles, who says casual pot users should be
taken out and shot, and someone named
Davey in an article in SWAT: “All drug deal-
ers, no matter how young, should be sum-
marily executed. They are murderers many
times over.” (Like cigarette companies?) In
the same category are Paki bashers, queer
bashers, and anyone with a “Kill a Queer for
Christ” sticker on his heap.
Nigger killers, raw material for lynch
mobs, the Bible Belt, the fundamental
Muslims—023 feels nothing for these speci-
World leaders catering to the stupid and
the bigoted. Bush says the drug war has
united us as a nation. Of finks and lunatics?
What do they care what someone else does in
his own room? No skin off them.
GAP. 023 don’t like liars. And lying comes
natural as breathing to a politician.
The leaders are desperately trying to
achieve a standard and malleable human
product. But instead, by enforced proximity,
the irreconcilable differences of interest and
basic orientation are constantly reinforced
Fact is Homo Sap is fracturing into sub-
species: 023 predicts that this trend of separ-
ation will continue and escalate and will be
reflected in basic biological differences
rather sooner than later.
The leaders, cut off from any intelligent
and perceptive observers, will lose control.
The motions they go through, the conver-
gences and agreements, will have less and
less relation to actual events. This is already
happening in Russia. Another trend that will
continue and escalate geometrically.
The violent bigots will become more and
more bestial, degenerating into a hideous
subspecies of vicious and graceless baboons.
“We know our duty.”
“Vast army of purple-assed baboons.”
The scientists will continue to reject the
evidence with regard to ESP and UFOs and
withdraw into academic vacuums.
GAP. GAP. GAP.
The dream I am about to relate illustrates
the inadequacy of words when there are
simply no equivalent meanings. To begin
with, it is not a dream in the usual sense, be-
ing totally alien to any waking experience. A
vision? No, not that either. A visit is the
closest I can come. I was there. If I could
draw or paint with accuracy, or better still, if
I had a camera . . .
Walking down a passageway. The whole
area seems to be enclosed—by inference, that
is: I never see the sky or anything beyond. I
look up and see a handsome boy of about
nineteen on a balcony with an older youth
about twenty-three or so. The balcony is
about thirty feet above the passageway, and
the building is red brick. Someway, I get up
on the balcony. Behind is a small room with
several other people.
The boy is wearing a white shirt with a yel-
low tie. Now the older youth takes a
crossbow, though instead of the bow sticking
out on both sides, it is set vertically on the
shaft. He puts the bow between the boy’s
legs—there is an arrow in the bow (double-
edge hunting arrow, thirteen inches long and
two inches at the base) pointed up to the
boy’s groin—and pulls the trigger. For some
reason the arrow does not hit the boy. I gath-
er this is some sort of test and I am next. I
stand without flinching. The bowman says I
have passed the test and that now I am one
of them. We shake hands.
There is one there who has not passed the
test. He is more like a doll than a person,
with what appears to be a detachable head.
Next, we form a line, one behind the other,
and they are showing me how our muscles
can become attuned so we are one body.
There is a further lesson which I do not un-
derstand, involving balance or movement. I
want to explore further but want to return
later. So I make a note of the spot.
I look down the passageway, which is
somewhat like an airport, and walk down. At
the end to my right, I come to a square about
sixty feet on each side. White stone buildings
around the three sides but no windows or
doors. Just a few slots or round openings.
Someway this square was connected with
the Christian religion. I can see nobody but I
feel that there are eyes watching me. Around
the walls of the square are what appear to be
glass ornaments of some kind, but I can’t be
sure they are made of glass, nor do I have
any clear idea as to what they look like.
Ileave the square to the left and there is
an area like a living room or a waiting room
with potted plants and two people sitting on
a couch, one of whom looks vaguely like
Jacques Stern, and I ask if his name is Stern.
Others gather around: one has a strange,
large, white face and a smile that seems
painted on. He is formal with me and wishes
to introduce himself, but I don’t catch the
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