the end of meaning



the end of meaning

ink and watercolour on found paper (a page torn from a discarded text book, page size 4.25 x 7 inches), mounted on masonite board (6 x 8 inches)

double-sided –– on the back is a transparent plastic stamp with the text

hope, meaning, truth

–– the three vagabonds

the brains trust bankrupted by a girl who doesn’t care

What is it about fall and shifting meaning? Yesterday held humidity in a fist, making me sick to my stomach, while today is dark and sombre with uninflected cold … remorseful, even beneath two jackets.

At the counter of the drugstore, the clerk asked me if I wanted to donate a dollar to “the tree of life”. In my mind I immediately capitalized everything –– The Tree of Life –– and became amazed at what she might actually mean, and if a dollar would be anywhere close to enough. What is the Tree of Life? I asked. She said something about cancer, women and local charities (they’re never very clear when you actually ask). Fine, I said, not really caring either way.

I’ve written about this kind of checkpoint-charity before, but it seems like I’m never going to get over it. Who, exactly, thinks this is a good idea –– this afterthought kind of charity, which demeans and embarasses? Is that what charity should be, something clumsily tacked on to the cost of consumption?

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