yesterday is a fortune teller

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yesterday is a fortune teller with blood on her hands / ink painting on found paper / 6 x 9 inches / the blank inside title page from an old book


Lately, I’ve been thinking about time, about how to make it, or gain on it, when it constantly conspires against you. We all dream of getting up earlier or staying up later, of going to the gym and getting fit or writing some novel over lunch. But there’s a reason the marine ranks are made of children.


The Four of Cups features prominently in a scene from Blood Meridian; it is the card chosen by the Kid, reflecting his divided nature.

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library card art

As someone who grew up with library sign-out cards, it made me shudder to find them in piles beside computer terminals, to be used as scrap paper –– they seemed too much like artifacts for something like that. They had too much history, too much character. So I started collecting them, almost absent-mindedly, with no real idea of what I would do with them.

But then thank god for transparent ink. So now I’ve started drawing on them. You can find the beginnings of a collection here.

the end of meaning

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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?