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"An Open Book"
ink and collage on paper, scroll book in two segments, overall dimensions 135" X 56", 1989;
top segment dimensions 135" X 26"; bottom segment dimensions 112" X 26".

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drawing text

the following typewritten text appears in the lower right hand corner of this section:

There was nothing pleasant about the man's eyes. Anger and sadness and years of disappointment holograms. The car engine turned over the white wall's wings fled cutting in their baby teeth. Unspectacled anger housing mollusks, arachnids and gold doubloons stapled to the foreheads of children. I sipped my vermouth and took notes. An ear crowned with notes of lovers wept bitterly leaning on the mailbox across the street. All the buildings wore glasses. The man held a remote control that zipped him in. We shared a pitcher of whiskey. He said his wife was shopping. He had to kill time. Who told him I asked. He was sworn to secrecy. Why've we no tales I asked. Indeed, we do, he assured me. But why then do I see here what I see? the ear, the dancing toothpicks, the puppies with crayfish nailed to their heads, the women fat as walruses and men with prayerbook faces, the slovenly lizard-faced artists who bandage trees to earn a dime to mail home to their families, the eccentric rabbi taken to settling scores, the obtuse duck maiming the children of his employers and sharpening pencils in a hole in his skull, the slippers bleeding underneath the hood of a sports car, the authentic gem being kicked through the gutter, the turds men and women for fashion pin to their hair, the vomit bib, the anamorphic photos of diseased jaws eaten half away with cancer, the talking circles of leather and iron that make you piss like an anaconda talking circles of iron and leather; and tell me I said, why do we keep growing? Why do I have this nostalgia for a human story, why isn't there a real tale of anger and tenderness to tell on this street of impersonalized adverbs, floating signifiers, isn't there a passage through? is hope a hopeless sideshow? an evening's entertainment put on by a local Christ in a local pub?

I wear myself out late at night in useless anger that pricks my eyeballs from behind. Two aspirin. Give me an anitdote I say. I've a modicum of faith, the way through is through a personal vindication of hatred--tread the head of the alienation. Everything is wrapped in words that are like little bits of trash that are blowing through the streets at 5 a.m. on their way to the daily work as newspapers, novels, conversations. BANGG--in five minutes I'll invent the universe--what hubris. Our tale is one of alienation, the society's I mean, a wish to be done with happiness and wrap all the hell of heaven and earth in a little nut. We?--I assume I speak for my world, but, truly, I only know it's me. All of us MEs are fighting for the same cause. A pinprick sets a droplet of blood atop my fingertip. When I watch this tiny crimson bubble finally swell so much, it's quiet. At last the droplet spills an orangeish stain through the lines of my finger. Everybody pick up a pin.

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